Out of Hours
We are proud of the “out of hours” care we provide for our patients. Against the prevailing trend, we continue to provide our own 24-hour cover, 365 days a year, from our main surgery in Henley and staffed by our own vets and nurses. You can reach us, at any time, just by phoning the normal numbers.
Any time of the day or night and you will always be answered by a real human being, one of our staff, who will have immediate access to your animal's clinical history and may well be someone you already know. Many pet owners are not aware that this is no longer the norm. The majority of small animal practices in this area hand over responsibility for their patients, at the end of a normal working day, to one of the centralised Out of Hours providers.
Our clients do not have to transfer their hospitalised poorly pet to an Out of Hours hospital in Reading or Maidenhead each evening and back to us in the morning. Having our duty veterinary surgeon and veterinary nurse on site means that hospitalised patients can receive the level of observation and care that they need overnight and across weekends and Bank Holidays. We have audio-visual monitoring equipment to help with this but there is no substitute for a Veterinary Nurse with her finger on the pulse of her patients, literally!
For animals at home, that become ill or injured out of normal working hours, we are there to help at any time of day or night. Our clients do not have to find their way, often when in a state of panic or distress, to a practice they have never been to before. They do not have to worry about explaining, to an unknown vet or nurse, their pet's sometimes complex medical history and all the medications he takes regularly or has been given recently. We have your pet's medical notes from both surgeries on our computer system.
It is expensive to staff a practice 24 hours a day and 365 days a year and our Out of Hours surcharges reflect that (though they by no means cover the full cost). We appreciate that they are expensive and many clients are shocked when told how much it will cost them to be seen out of hours. However, we actually save our clients a great deal of money overall, by providing this service. How so? Read on!
Firstly, our out of hours surcharges are comparable to those of the dedicated Out of Hours centres for non-clients and cheaper for our own clients.
Secondly, only about fifteen percent of out of hours calls to the practice actually require an appointment. Many of the calls are for animals already on treatment and after a detailed conversation with the nurse or vet on duty (and because we have their full clinical notes in front of us), we can often advise a change in medication dosing or other simple measures that the owner can do at home. This allows them to postpone an actual appointment until normal working hours and it costs nothing!
Sometimes a client will phone with a completely new and acute problem with their pet., A typical example would be the two terriers who had run through a patch of young stinging nettles and were now chewing their feet to shreds. We knew from their records that one of the dogs had been prescribed antihistamine tablets a few months earlier. The owner confirmed that she had some of the tablets left over and we knew from our records how much each dog weighed so were able to advise her what dose to give each dog. We suggested that she took the dogs for another walk (not near nettles!) to stop them chewing their feet while the tablets kicked in. That worked and saved our client a great deal of money.
We will always see your pet if you are worried about him or her but we are not oblivious to the fact that money is tight for many of our clients and if we can save you unnecessary expense without detriment to the animal then we will happily do so.
Finally, a plea on behalf of all our dedicated vets and nurses. Please remember that the nurse and vet on duty at night will have worked the previous day and will be expected to work at least part of the following day. If you could postpone your routine enquiries and appointment booking until our normal opening hours, we would be very grateful. We treasure whatever sleep we are able to get on duty nights!
OUT OF HOURS APPOINTMENT SURCHARGES
Our Own Registered Clients
Out of hours day appointment (until 11pm at night) £129.60
Out of hours night appointment (from 11pm to 7am) £232.20
Out of hours day appointment (until 11pm at night) £189.00
Out of hours night appointment (from 11pm to 7am) £286.20