Social distancing tips in practice

During these challenging times the BVNA asked you to send in your best social distancing tips for us to share with the industry. Thank you to all of you that took the time to send in their tips. Have a read and see if there are any ideas listed here that you can use in practice. We are all in this together.

1. Closed door policy

-          Clients advised in advance of closed-door policy.

-          Doors locked.

-          Installing a wireless doorbell to be able to communicate with clients from a safe distance and instruct them accordingly.

-          Having a medication/food box left by reception doors for clients to collect from.

-          Posting out medication.

2. Client communication

-          Clear instructions given to clients of all requirements, where to stand, hand washing, what they can and can’t do.

-          All client communication done over the telephone. No face to face contact.

-           If face to face communication is a must then to use objects between client and yourself to protect own personal space, e.g. cat carrier, chair or car.

-           Triaging over the phone and only allowing emergencies and critical care cases into practice.

3. Animal handling

-          Using a practice slip lead to bring the pet into practice.

-          Any animal small enough to fit into a basket is left at the front door then once brought in the pet is transferred into an easy clean practice basket.

-          Using practice double length lead for larger animals.

-          Minimal animal handling, vet only asking for assistance where absolutely necessary.

-          Animal carriers to be wiped down with disinfectant once animal is removed.

4. Tele consultations

-          Investing in technology (tablet) to allow for remote telehealth consultations.

5. Owners attending practice

-          Allowing only one owner per pet to attend and checking they are well and have no Covid-19 symptoms.

-          No one displaying Covid-19 symptoms to be allowed into practice.

6. Consent forms

-          Completing consent form over the telephone with the client which are then scanned and e-mailed to clients to sign and return.

7. Payment

-          Encouraging clients to pay by card where possible.

-           Card payments taken over the telephone.

8. Euthanasia

-          Full explanation of practice protocol given to owners prior to visit.

-          One to two owners present with their pet during euthanasia and using three extension lines and standing two metres back once client enters the room.

-          Where practice policy is not to allow clients to be present then to telephone owner post euthanasia to inform them and express sympathy.

-          Example protocol. The wearing of full PPE, collection of the patient from the car, set up with a catheter and iv line and then client may enter and apply a face mask. Client then takes over to cuddle the patient and warned to catch patient when they feel heavy, at that point veterinary professionals are stood at the far end of the fluid drip line and inject into the furthest port followed by flush.

9. Staffing

-          Splitting teams into two and working four on four off shifts and doing a deep clean at the end of the four-day shift.

-          Splitting teams also enables traceability should a team member contract the virus.

-          Minimal staff in practice.

10. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

-          Gloves worn when handling items from the outside world (lead/carriers) and clean hands when touching anything from the practice side.

-          The wearing of gowns, masks and gloves as appropriate.

11. Equipment

-          Each person having their own work station with computer, phone, pen, calculator etc.

12. Strict disinfection protocols

-          Strict cleaning protocols in place especially between clients.

-          Everything client has touched or sat on get cleaned thoroughly before the next client is allowed in.

We hope these tips have given you some ideas to take back to your practice. The BVNA would like to thank the following people for their contribution; Mia Downes, Alix Cousins, LesleyAnn Lyons, Lindsay Clifford Barnes, Samantha Baxter, Caty Francis and Nat MJ.

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