COVID-19 FAQ:

Updated on the 9th June 2021


In this difficult and unprecedented situation, we are trying our best to keep supporting you and your pet.
Please find below a list of FAQs to help answer the concerns you might have.

We politely ask you to leave our phone lines as free as possible so emergencies can reach us.

We have developed online services to support you, you are able to order food and repeat medications as well as book a video consultation with both a vet and a nurse

Does the Covid-19 pandemic affect your services?

We have remained open during the pandemic and as the lockdown restriction eases we are hoping to return back to some sort of normality. Our teams at both centres are still working, and we are now allowing members of the public into both centres.

We are a regulated profession and follow updates and guidance from the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, our regulating body), BSAVA (British Small Animal Veterinary Association), the BVA (British Veterinary Association) and other veterinary organisations working closely with the government.

Practically, this means we must follow social distancing rules and other measures to keep our staff and clients safe. We ask for your compliance with this as keeping our staff healthy will allow us to keep looking after your pets.

Our services might look and feel different currently and for the foreseeable future as we have reorganise things to ensure we can help as many pets as possible.

Are you going to remain open?

As lockdown is beginning to ease, we are doing our very best to still be here if you need us and ensure the continued safety of our staff, we have once again had to adjust our services but we are always open for your pets 24/7 all year round. Like every business, we have had to take drastic measures to survive in the current crisis, retain jobs and still be there to help you when things settle.

We have remained open throughout the whole pandemic while following clear restrictive guidelines from the government and the RCVS.  

We are grateful for your understanding and your patience during this time. Our focus is on delivering the best care to our emergency patients and ensuring continuity of care sometime even remotely for the non-urgent cases.

You might experience difficulties getting through to us on the phone as our lines are very busy. Waiting times, when needing to be seen might also be increased due to the unpredictable nature of emergency work. Finally you might be faced with delays to receive posted medications. Please take this into consideration when requesting services.

For enquiries such as insurance claim processing and complaints, our teams are working as hard as they can to answer you. Again, you might see delays in our usual turn-over times. Remember all processes have dramatically changed as we operate with a reduced staffing level and introduced home working where possible. As a result people might not be contactable as easily or different team members might be involved in dealing with you.

Finally, the nature of our work makes social distancing very difficult. Despite the risks, our staff are just as committed to care for their patients and be as professional as ever. We are immensely proud of the work they are doing every day. We ask you respect the social distancing and sanitary measures we have put in place for the safety of our staff and our clients.

We realise these are testing times for everyone. Remember we are all doing our best and wish to operate in a kind and respectful manner.

https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/respect-your-vet-team-during-covid-19-says-bva/

What safety measures have you put in place relating to Covid-19?

. We ask you not visit us if you are showing symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of smell or taste. Do let us know if you or someone in your household is isolating or tested positive. You might need to find alternative ways to bring your pet to us such as asking a friend or a neighbour to transport your pet to us.

. We are allowing clients into the building however, we do request only one person to enter the building with your pet(s).

. On arrival, please enter the building wearing a face covering and we ask that you sanitise your hands.

. Please let our reception team know you have arrived. if you are unable to wear a face covering or there are more than one person with your pet including children, we will ask you to wait outside and our team will take your pet into the building for examination

. We have a one way system around the waiting area at Upminster and our centre in Brentwood - please adhere to social distancing where possible.

. During the consultation, if your pet requires extensive examination they may be removed to our our clinical area.

. We are offering video consultations to non-urgent appointments or for anyone isolating or unable to get in to see us.

. We have a number of online services such as ordering food, ordering medications and booking slots to pick them up to help with social distancing as well as video consultations for both vets and nurses.

. We will avoid as much as possible to handle cash and will ask you to pay by card. Card machines are sanitised regularly.

. At this stage, for the safety of our staff, we do not offer home visit service.

. Cleaning and disinfecting of our premises are always to hospital standard as we do fight infectious diseases all year round.

We have a large team which represents a large working bubble, We are doing our very best to keep our team safe and to here for you all when you need us. Thank you for your understanding

Are pets affected by COVID-19?

There is no evidence that domestic pets are significantly affected by Covid-19.

They might carry the virus on their coat from being stroked by affected people. Pets therefore work as fomites. We advise you do follow usual hygiene procedures and wash your hands in the recommended fashion before and after handling your pet or someone else's. We also recommend to avoid been licked by your pet.

Cats do not need to be kept indoors to avoid transmission of the virus unless they belong to an affected household. Please find the statement from the BVA regarding this here: https://www.bva.co.uk/news-and-blog/news-article/bva-statement-on-cats-and-covid-19/?fbclid=IwAR2Kr5qvCxfGp6ddq0_kLcfUvJ0pj3hkFKD80K5dqPQoDJvdFhRi5JgAt7A

I need to book an appointment. What should I do?

We are offering appointments at both Upminster and Brentwood. Appointments can be booked via our website www.wylievets.com or via telephone 01708 251200 or Brentwood 01277 584470. We are still offering video consultations for non-urgent conditions..

Find below a list of genuine emergencies for which you can come in straight away. Please always call us first so we can prepare:

. Collapse

. Seizures

. Difficulty breathing

. Trauma such as road traffic accident, dog attacks causing significant wounds

. Inability to walk

. Persistent frequent vomiting > 6-8 times in a day

. Inability to pass urine

. Repeated unproductive attempts to be sick

. Haemorrhages

Call us to book an appointment on the day or book online at https://www.wylievets.com/book.

Vaccinations have been diverted to our Wellness Centre to allow us to see more of them and keep up with the demand.

I need to book my pet for a surgery/procedure. What should I do?

Please contact us to book your pet in for surgery or for a procedure.

Why do you offer vaccinations only from your Brentwood Wellness Centre at the moment?

First of all our Wellness Centre was opened precisely to look after healthy animals.

The emergency and urgent appointments we see at Upminster (our A&E centre) are extremely unpredictable in length and complexity. With the colder weather, we are currently ensuring the waiting room does not fill up and the vets rotate between the rooms. The level of staffing and the space needed has been modified by the processes put in place for Covid.

On the other hand, vaccinations and routine checks are timely appointments for which we can have a reasonably steady workflow.

Separating these two very different flows is what has allowed us to increase our capacity and be able to respond to the current demand for emergencies. Currently, routine appointments in Upminster would suffer extreme waiting time because emergencies would understandably and systematically take priority.

In order to also answer the demand for routine appointments, we have allocated a full team of vets and nurses to our Wellness Centre, who have the space and are solely dedicated to seeing timely appointments. This has allowed us to already clear our backlog, keep up with the "lockdown" puppies and kitten vaccinations and ensure we can offer 6months checks again.

We realise this might seems inconvenient to some of you but our wonderful team at Brentwood will ensure we can alleviate your concerns when necessary.

For example, you are welcome to stop on the loading bay in front of the Wellness Centre door and pass your nervous dog or heavy cat carrier to a member of staff while you park your car. We can help you with litter of puppies in the same way.

Some of you are understandably worried about parking in Brentwood but feedback is that it is usually much easier than expected. Sainsbury's carpark is just opposite. Some families take the opportunity to split the chores and go shopping! The William Hunter way carpark is 2min walk away with safe, wide crossings.

Many of you have already commented on how nice their experience was following a faster and smoother process without the drama of the hospital around.

Just like GP practices have had to split certain services to ensure better workflow and deliver care to more patients, we have organised this to help as many pets as possible.

We are convinced we can offer you a better service without long waiting time at the Wellness Centre with the current limitations.

We are constantly reviewing our systems and processes, adjusting for new regulations and trying our best to give all of our patients the care they need.

We are offering some vaccinations appointments now at Upminster, however these appointments can only be booked via our website www.wylievets.com

I am a breeder. I have puppies ready to go to new owners who have not been vaccinated yet. What should I do?

You can call our Brentwood Wellness Centre on 01277 584470 to book an appointment or book online at https://www.wylievets.com/book. (please book one appointment per 2 puppies)

The process will be explained to you.

Please remember that we will not issues vaccine certificates to non-identified pups.

It is a legal requirement that all pups are microchipped at 8 weeks.

Should you need us to microchip the pups at the time, please let us know.

Why have you changed the price of the puppy vaccinations for breeders and neutering operations?

In our current financial situation, we are unable to give the full discount we usually apply to certain procedures (neutering, puppy/kitten vaccines for breeders). At a time when our processes are much longer and more costly to us, we are not in a position to subsidise any of our work.

My puppy/kitten was/is due his first or second vaccination. Can I bring him/her?

You can book puppy/kitten primo-vaccination here : https://www.wylievets.com/book

Alternatively you can call our Brentwood Wellness Centre on 01277 584470 to book an appointment. The process will be explained to you.

My rabbit is due its vaccination. Can I bring him/her in?

Due to the seasonal nature of the deadly viruses affecting rabbits, their vaccination is deemed essential at this time of the year.

If your rabbit vaccine is overdue, you can book online at https://www.wylievets.com/book or call our Brentwood Wellness Centre on 01277 584470 to book an appointment. The process will be explained to you.

My pet is due his/her yearly booster soon. Can I bring him/her for this? If not will he/she still be protected?

We offering vaccination appointments mainly at our Wellness Centre in Brentwood. We have started to open some vaccinate appointments at Upminster however these must be booked online.


Can I book a nurse appointment?

Yes for post-operative check, bandage change, anal glands emptying and other necessary or painful reasons, Nurse appointment are currently taking place at our Wellness Centre, away from the chaotic emergency care.

You can book, calling 01277 584470.

We are offering nurse video consultations, for health plan chats, some post op care checks and puppy/kitten talks.

Our lovely nurse team are also offering nutritional nurse consultations for £15 for 30 minutes all bookable via our website www.wylievets.com

If you need behavioural advice, please book an appointment with our qualified behaviourist / veterinary nurse, Nicky. The cost for this service is £45 for 45 minutes. It might be particularly useful for advice on how to manage puppies in their socialisation period following lockdown and with the current limitations. This might be performed over the phone or by video during lockdown.

My dog is on TCP/WHC. Will I still get my 6 month check and flea/worming treatments?

For our TCP patients we are offering these via video with our lovely team of nurses. If your dog is on WHC we can put the medication out for you to collect or you are welcome to book a nurse video consultation.

Should you be isolating, you can order your treatment at dispensary@wylievets.com and for a small posting charge, we can send them to you.

My animal needs a check for repeat prescription. What should I do?

You can visit either of our centre for medication checks, please contact us to make an appointment

Please book a video consultation here: https://www.wylievets.com/book-a-video-consultation

For more complex diseases, if for example your pet needs a follow up blood test, please book an appointment at our Upminster hospital.

I need to collect medications for my pet. What should I do?

Please use our online service to book a slot (like an appointment) on our Medication Order page. You can also email your request to dispensary@wylievets.com.

Please give us 48 hours notice to enable your medications to be ready for you.

My pet is poorly but it's not an emergency. What should I do?

You can book a video consultation via our website below

https://www.wylievets.com/book-a-video-consultation

Alternatively, you can call our hospital on 01708 251200 and we will book an appointment for your pet. It might not be on the same day but as soon as we have availability.

This could apply to:

- skin issues
- recurring problems
- lumps and bumps

- mild condition which might require medications but no investigation (uncomplicated vomiting or diarrhoea, mild lameness, small wound, eye disease..)
- follow up of treatments instated recently

- Repeat medication 6months check to ensure we can keep prescribing your pet's medication.

- Any discussion regarding change of medication & doses

-Any discussions prior to surgery

During the video consultation, should the vet deemed a physical examination of your pet necessary to establish the best course of action for his/her condition, you will be invited to visit our Upminster hospital at a specific time. You will not be charged a consultation again but just a top up fee of £10 to cover our usual consultation fee. This does differ on bank holidays.

How does the video consultation service work? How do I book a video consultation?

In order to ensure continuity of treatment and be able to support you and your pets with non-emergency concerns, we have organised a video consultation service. This has required some IT resources as well as research into a safe, GDPR compliant system. The time slot allocated has been doubled compare to our usual 15min consultation to allow for technical issues and liaising with staff onsite to take payment, prepare drugs and organise what might be needed following the consultation.

We of course recognise this service can't match a real consultation with complete physical examination and are offering it at a reduce price compare to our usual consultation (£52.50).

You can book from our website or by phone (our lines are rather overwhelmed at the moment).

The fee for video consultations is £42.50 and we ask for prepayment to secure the slot. Number of slots are limited by our current staff level and we want to discourage the number of missed appointments we normally see.

One of our receptionists will call you for payment and verify your current email.

You will then receive a link by email. At the time of the consultation, use the link to connect to the video stream with the vet or nurse.

If you want to show us something on your animal, make sure you are in a well lit environment. Familiarise yourself with your camera and its bidirectional option. Should you want to email us a picture prior to the appointment for the vet to look at, please use reception@wylievets.com.

Do follow instructions regarding browser type and browser update for your device as well as settings to allow your device to use the microphone and the camera. These will be sent to you with the link.

During the video consultation, should the vet deem a physical examination of your pet necessary to establish the best course of action for his/her condition, you will be invited to visit our Upminster hospital at a specific time. You will not be charged a consultation again but just a top up fee of £10 to cover our usual consultation fee in full.

What service can nurses offer by video consultation?

- post op checks
- nutrition advice (£15, free for all TCP/WHC members)
- behaviour advice from our qualified behaviourist / nurse (£45 consultation fee)
- bereavement support

As lockdown eases we are also offering new puppy/kitten checks and all plan checks.

I need some food for my pet. Can I come and collect it?

We have organised a safe and non-contact order & collect service from our Wellness Centre.

We are stocking more brands, including Natural instinct and have much bigger stock at our Wellness centre to cater for all our patients.


Book your slot to pick up your order (like an appointment) on our Food Order page.

My pet is on TCP/WHC. Can I come and get my raw food?

Yes. Getting your food from us is a requirement for our TCP members and we have put everything in place to facilitate this in our Wellness Centre with a great choice, large stock and click and collect service.

WHC members also get 10% discount on food.

We have also organised a convenient "order and collect" system.

Book your slot to pick up your order (like an appointment) on our Food Order page.

A list of food available at our wellness centre is here www.wylievets.com/foodtobuy

You can of course still collect from Upminster but the selection and quantities are smaller, if you need to collect from Upminster please give us a call and we will get this ready for you

I need a written prescription, can I come in?

Yes

Pharmacies (online or not) will only accept original prescription from you or emailed certified version from us.

Pharmacies will not accept prescription by email from you. This is part of fraud prevention procedures. We will therefore not email prescriptions to you.

Let us know which pharmacy you intent to use as well as their email address when you order your drugs and we will email the prescription directly to the pharmacy.

You can ask for a repeat of a written prescription by email dispensary@wylievets.com or online https://www.wylievets.com/book choosing "repeat prescription and entering in the text box the name of the drugs you need and the quantity and frequency you administer it to you pet at the moment.

Prescription are written for 3months maximum and are valid 6 months.

Some controlled drugs can only be prescribed for 28 days and can no carry repeats.

Should you wish our full prescription protocol in line with the VMD, please contact us.

Are you offering visits?

For the safety of our staff and our clients, we can not offer visits.

My pet is insured. In current financial strains, can I organise a direct claim?

We have a team of administrators processing insurance claims for our clients. They are working remotely currently and still trying their best to ensure quick turn-around for you to be refunded as quickly as possible.

Direct claims can be organised providing we obtain pre-authorisation from your insurer. We are always happy to do this if the timing of the treatment allows it.

Some insurance companies might not offer a direct claim option in the current times. This is out of our control.

Please note there is a small administration charge for insurance forms to be completed. The charges are Direct claim £30 and £10 for a continuation. For a non direct claim its £10 for a new claim, £5 for a continuation claim.

My pet needs to be euthanised. Can I come in with him/her?

Yes we are allowing one person in with your pet. We understand this is an incredibly distressing time and we will of course treat your pet with love and dignity as always. .

The injection is an anaesthetic and your pet will fall asleep within a few seconds, just like when they are anaesthetised for an operation or a procedure.

We have a team of bereavement counsellors you can contact for a chat.