The Veterinary Centre is an independent, small animal practice with its main surgery in Henley and a branch surgery in Twyford. Since 1995 we have grown from two vets and four support staff to nine vets and more than twenty support staff. The Henley and Twyford premises have had to grow to accommodate this expansion. We maintain our friendly, personal and non-corporate ethos despite our success!
Everybody's Veterinary Practice
We would like to be accessible to all pet owners in the catchment area of our Henley and Twyford surgeries, regardless of income, working hours, disability or transport limitations.
We cannot be a “cheap” practice and continue to offer the very best that modern veterinary medicine has to offer for those who can afford it. However, we can and do, try to tailor our approach to a patient according the owners' budget and (equally importantly) to their own feelings as to what is right for their pet. We also try very hard to help our least well-off clients by accessing charitable help or by setting up a payment plan if they have a proven credit record with us. Also, our nurse clinics can provide a lifeline for pet owners with severe financial limitations click here to find out how.
At our Henley surgery we are open from 8.00am to 8.00pm every week day and until 6.00pm on a Saturday so that even commuters with very long working hours should have a fair chance of being able to get an appointment at some point in the week. Our Twyford surgery is currently open on every week day from 8.45am to 6.00pm but we are planning to extend the weekday consulting hours and start a Saturday morning surgery there from September this year.
Because we provide our own out of hours emergency service and overnight hospital care at the Henley surgery, our clients do not have to find their way to an out of hours provider in Reading or Maidenhead with their sick or injured pet in the middle of the night. We also offer home visits or, in some circumstances a nurse to collect your pet, which may be helpful for those who have no transport or are unable to lift their collapsed dog.
Probably one of the most important things that we do in pursuit of our ideals is to make ourselves available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Our normal opening hours are generous and we provide our own 24 hour emergency service and in-patient care at the Henley surgery. That means we always have access to your pets' clinical notes whatever time of the day or night we see them. Many pet owners do not realise that this is no longer the norm and that most practices now hand over to a dedicated out of hours veterinary provider at the end of their normal working day. We would rather retain responsibility and “duty of care” for our patients right through the nights and weekends and bank holidays. If that means that a couple of staff members may look a bit bleary eyed and sleep deprived some mornings then that is a price worth paying for being there when you need us.
To find out more about this highly valued service click here.
A Very Experienced Team
We have a very experienced team of vets and nurses, covering both the Henley and the Twyford surgeries, and a track record for hanging onto good staff. A dozen members have been with us for over a decade and a third of those are approaching twenty years employment.
Two of the vets have more than thirty years experience apiece, five of them can boast between ten and twenty five years in practice and the two more recent graduates have 3 years and four years under their belts. They have the back-up of their more experienced colleagues always available but also bring to the team new knowledge and ideas, recent discoveries and unflagging enthusiasm! We are a naturally collaborative team with individuals having their own areas of special interest and expertise but everyone putting their heads together over difficult cases or puzzling diagnoses.
The nursing team is made up predominantly of experienced qualified nurses with three or four student nurses in training at any one time. We are a recognised training practice or TP and this status ensures that we keep up the highest standards of nursing care as we are regularly inspected.
To find out more about our staff click here.
Value for Money
We are not a cheap practice but we are far from being one of the most expensive in the area and we do charge honestly and transparently for our services. Our fees for all procedures, from a routine check up to major orthopaedic surgery, are calculated from the time taken, as a proportion of the overall daily running costs of the practice. The running costs for this practice will be higher than for many others, partly because Henley is just a very expensive place to finance and maintain a property! In addition we choose to staff the practice 24 hours a day and 365 days a year which is costly and we also chose to employ and retain high quality experienced staff which is obviously more expensive than having a continuous turnover of recent graduates. On the other hand our “out of hours” service often saves our clients money (click here to see how) and the fact that we have such an experienced staff can mean a quicker diagnosis with fewer tests, which also saves money.
We do NOT artificially lower the headline fees and then subsidise them with “hidden” high mark ups on drugs and other charged items such as bandage materials and IV drip sets and external laboratory fees. In fact our margins on drugs and consumables are amongst the lowest you will find in veterinary practices. We cannot compete with the big on-line pharmacies on price for the most expensive of the high-turnover medicines but we are happy to issue our clients with a written prescription for these drugs at the modest price of £6.00 for a single item prescription or £7.50 for two or more items.
We very much encourage clients to ask for an estimate of costs before embarking on a course of treatment or diagnostic investigations. Even if your pet is insured we suggest you do this because we can never predict with any certainty whether an insurer will pay up.
Because we have such a strong team of experienced Veterinary Nurses we are able to offer many useful services through our Clinic Nurse appointments. These appointments are less expensive than appointments with a vet and in some cases completely FREE!
Our nurses do dressing changes, post operation check ups, “fit for life” clinics for older pets, monitoring of diabetic pets, blood samples, administer medication if the owners are struggling, second vaccinations, flea and worm treatments and advice, dietary advice and weight clinics, first aid courses and many other essential services.
Perhaps most importantly of all, nurses can provide a lifeline for pet owners on a severely limited income. If you fall into that category and are worried about your pet but not sure if he or she is really ill enough to warrant the expense of a vet appointment, then make an appointment with the clinic nurse instead. For £20.70 she can give your pet a very thorough examination and then advise you. If she thinks your pet really does need veterinary attention and if you need financial help for that, she can help to put you in touch with various charities that may be able to assisit and she will also consult one of our vets as to what we can do in the meantime.
To find out more about what our nurses can do for your pet click here.