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Coronavirus Updates

January 2021 Update 

For the most up to date information we suggest you phone the practice, explain your situation and our team will then be able to give you the best advice going forward as to how we may be able to help you. 

We would like to ask for and continue to thank you all for your patience and understanding during these COVID times, and hope that our clients and patients stay safe and well. We hope to explain some of our altered procedures and protocols below, so that you feel more comfortable during your visit to our practice. As the guidelines and restrictions are constantly changing, we always encourage you to phone and discuss your specific needs as we will be able to provide the most up to date information. 


Our team are passionate about continuing the very best services they can. A thorough and complete examination of your pet requires our clinical team to get up close and personal with their patient, and to be able to do this the patient must be held safely and securely in the appropriate clinical environment by someone else. To keep our staff and our clients safe, we therefore will collect your pet from you, and our dedicated teams will work together safely inside the practice. This reduces the number of different people our staff come into contact quite significantly, and furthermore keeps you as our client safe outside away from us. Our teams are wearing full personal protective equipment when they are working alongside each other with patients as they simply cannot stay 2m away from each other. This allows us to carry on with all our normal services in as safe a way as possible. Furthermore, under the current track and trace system, we want to ensure that we reduce the risks to our staff being tracked by unnecessary contact, which could potentially force the practice to only be able to offer a significantly reduced service. 


Most importantly, if you, or anyone in your household are demonstrating signs of COVID-19 or are self-isolating because you have been in contact with someone, we please ask you advise us of this immediately and do not attend the practice. We have very strict protocols in place for attending to the welfare needs of a pet from a COVID household. 

To that end, we are continuing to ask all clients to phone ahead of attending the practice under any circumstance.


Should you be shielding or feel vulnerable in any way, then we actively encourage you to phone and discuss how we can help you and your pet in the safest way. 


We please ask that you arrive in good time for your appointment, to allow you to park safely and phone reception on arrival. Your contact details will be taken, to allow our clinical team to get back in touch with you for your consultation. 

During the national lockdown, urgent and emergency consultations will take priority over routine work, however by putting into place our above protocols we are able to offer some of our normal routine procedures, and consultations. 

Our phone lines remain extremely busy as we communicate more and more over the phone with our clients, so your patience when phoning through to the practice is much appreciated. We please ask you reserve using option 1 genuine emergency for that. 

How we are now offering appointments:

When attending an appointment at the practice, you will be asked to park up safely, and then phone through to reception to advise of your arrival. The team will make note of this contact number. When a member of the clinical team is ready to see you, they will contact you back on this number to discuss your concerns, obtain a thorough clinical history and discuss how they will proceed forward, including coming to collect your pet from you. If you do not have a mobile phone, or you walk to the surgery, we please advise you plan ahead, bring a rain coat/umbrella, wait under our arch in a safe manner, and if there is no one else in reception, you can pop in to tell the team you have arrived and then wait outside. When your pet is collected from you, the clinical team will then safely work together to perform a thorough clinical examination and get back in touch with you on how best to proceed. We encourage you to wrap up warm over the winter months. Often due to unforeseen circumstances, or unexpected emergencies, our consulting times can run behind schedule. Our team endeavour to run as close to time as possible, but given the nature of medicine things can very quickly change. 


As always, we continue to ask for complete payment at the time of treatment. 

Payment is currently being taken over the phone at the time of your consultation, so please bring a card mode of payment along with you. 

For insured cases please speak with us specifically about payment. There are a number of insurance companies who are now only paying the client direct, and not the practice, in which case payment will be required at the time of treatment to us. Rest assured our insurance team are working incredibly hard to ensure claims are processed as fast as possible during this time. 

Medications and Repeat Prescriptions:

We ask for at least 48 hours notice on repeat prescription requests, please. They may not take this long but as soon as they are ready, a member of the team will be in touch with you by phone or by text. We ask for payment ahead of collection, over the phone again, to reduce the time you are around the practice premises when collecting. 

Medications can be collected from the practice - we have a birdtable outside of our front door. If you can please phone from the car park to advise us of your name, pet's name and medication to be collected, so that one of the team can bring it to the front door for you.  

Certain medications can be posted out to you. Prescription medications/flea and worm treatments must go recorded delivery and we are using a first class postage at this time. You may experience some delay in postage times however, but these are out of our control. There is a £6 postage charge for any posted medications to cover the costs involved. We are no longer offering home delivery. 

If your pet is due a medication check, then our team will arrange this consultation with you. During the original lockdown we were able to remotely prescribe in certain circumstances, however we believe that our protocols make us as COVID secure as possible and so will request to see your pet again now, and return to following our usual prescribing protocols as laid out by the RCVS. Medication checks are incredibly important to make sure your pet is receiving the most appropriate medication, is not suffering from any potential side effects (which may not be obvious to an owner), and making sure there are no other co-morbidities developing as well. Animal medication is normally weight dependent, which is very different to human medicine, and so regular weight checks are important to avoid over or under dosing. 


We ask you all to wash your hands for 20 seconds before bringing your pet down. We do have hand wash outside our front door and by our card machine, and we encourage you to wash your hands as much as possible.  

We are beginning to offer some home visit services, however they are approached in a very different way to normal. We ask that you please phone to discuss the most up to date home visit procedures as and when you may need them. During a national lockdown or whilst we remain in Tier 3, we will not be offering home visits that require our staff to enter the inside of your home. As always, it is the owner's responsibility to get their pet to the vet. A home visit is dependent on staff availability and whether or not we feel it is the most safe and appropriate approach for the patient. Patients are always best assessed at our clinic. 

Saying goodbye:


We understand that now more than ever this is a very difficult time for all involved. We please encourage you to phone us and discuss the various ways in which we can approach this at this time, and a risk assessment will be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved is considered. We have developed ways for you to be with your pet at such a difficult time. We would like to reassure you that during this time, we have found our new approaches have been very peaceful for our patients and we are doing our very best under very difficult circumstances. Our COVID risk assessments are in place for these events to take place on site at the practice. In exceptional welfare circumstances we can discuss home visit requirements, but please be aware that we are not entering homes at this time. 

Out of Hours:

Our out of hours service will continue to be in place when the practice is closed, please see further details under the emergency tab at the top of our website. Our out of hours provisions have recently changed and we now share the workload with The Ark Veterinary Practice in Stratford.  However, it will follow the same protocols as above, including the strict social distancing protocols. The vet will triage the situation in detail over the phone and may or may not decide your pet needs to be seen at the practice. If your pet will be seen then you will be asked to remain outside of the practice in line with the above protocols. We continue to not offer home visit services out of hours, unless there is a genuine welfare need for the vet to attend the patient away from the practice.  


The situation is constantly changing and we are unable to cover every scenario on this page. We actively encourage you to get in touch with us by phone 01608 661232 or by email admin@shipstonvets.co.uk so that we can assist you with your inquiry or concern. Please be aware our email is only monitored during normal opening hours.