It is with deep regret that we are no longer able to provide out of hours cover overnight. Between 9.00pm and 8.00am weekdays and outside opening hours at the weekend and Bank Holidays out of hours cases will be seen by the dedicated ‘Out of Hours’ provider Vets Now.
Vets Now operate a dedicated emergency service with staff employed solely to care for patients out of hours in premises in Melton. They only work their night shift and are fresh and ready to see clients at any time of the night. Our vets currently provide the out of hours service on top of their normal working day and then have to go to work the following day, often tired and not at their best.
We have struggled to provide our own out of hours service over the last few years. In particular recruitment and retention of vets prepared to work full time and work out of hours on top of their normal working day has been very hard and getting harder. Particularly as across the country most jobs are now available without ‘on call duties’. We are also coming under pressure from working time directives that make covering a 24hour service with a cost effective work force, available to work a full daytime working week in addition to night time work, extremely difficult.
We understand that our clients value the out of hours service but in reality the number of clients using the service is very small. Analysis of out of hours call traffic indicates most calls to the duty vet are made before 9pm weekdays and during the mornings at the weekend. We have increased our opening hours to try and give our clients the greatest opportunity to come and see ‘their normal vet’.
If you are concerned about your pet we would urge you to make the most of these increased opening hours and to contact us sooner rather than later and not ‘wait and see’. All cases seen within our opening times will be treated as necessary or admitted to the hospital for treatment/surgery and hospitalisation as appropriate.
We would like to stress we will retain our on-site duty nurse. We will continue to provide 24 hour care for our hospitalised patients and remain one of the few practices in the area to provide on-site 24 hour nursing care for in-patients.
If patients do need to be seen at Vets Now those clients who would have benefitted from the Pet Health Club saving of £36.25 on the out of hours fee, will be offered a Free consultation at Orwell Vet Group the following day worth £37.50. In the more exceptional circumstances where a patient is hospitalised following an out of hours consultation at Vets Now we will, where practicable, collect your pet from Vets Now and bring it back to the hospital at Grange Farm free of charge. The pet will be admitted to the hospital to continue ongoing care and treatment as necessary.
Symptoms Checker If your pet is unwell, but you are not sure how urgent it is then why not try our symptoms checker. Just answer a few simple questions online and you will receive guidance on what to do. If in doubt then phone 01473 333677 for advice day or night