Coronavirus – Referral update

Fitzpatrick Referrals remains open at both the Orthopaedic and Neurology Centre in Eashing and the Oncology and Soft Tissue Hospital in Guildford.

A message for our clients

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate in these tricky times that your experience of visiting Fitzpatrick Referrals has had to change, as we continue to operate within the Government’s guidelines for veterinary practices.

For now, we will continue with these practices in order to minimise the risk and to protect the wellbeing of our team, and you our clients.

  • All clients are required to wait outside in their cars whilst the patient is examined and treated
  • Vets will update you by telephone following examination/treatment

Please continue to show your kindness and understanding towards our team members during these difficult times. We are working hard to ensure the best care can be provided to animals in their time of need.

We would ask that before setting off for the practice you phone the relevant number below and read the following guidelines.

If your appointment is with Orthopaedics & Neurology telephone 01483 423761

If your appointment is with Oncology & Soft Tissue telephone 01483 668100

Fitzpatrick Referrals is committed to protecting the wellbeing of our staff, patients and clients at all times. We are following the government’s most recent advice regarding the measures we need to take to help control the spread of COVID-19. We have increased the frequency that our public areas are cleaned and introduced extra hand washing facilities in our public areas.

Social distancing is the key to protecting each other and we need to change the way we work during the pandemic to ensure our animal companions receive the care they require, our staff are protected and we minimise the risk to our clients visiting our referral centres.

How can you help us?

  • We are asking all clients to wait outside in their cars.
  • Please maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between you and others at all times.
  • Please keep the number of people that visit to a minimum – ideally, only one person should be present with the patient rather than the whole family.
  • Please do not bring anything apart from your animal to your appointment – no beds, toys or food bags. We will transfer cats into a clinic carrier and ask you to take your cat carrier away with you. Please remember to bring your cat’s basket with you when you come to collect them.

Basic guidelines

  • If you have been exposed to COVID-19, had close contact with someone who has or if you are experiencing symptoms such as a new persistent cough or a fever, please call us to discuss the care of your pet before travelling to the clinic.
  • If you need to change any appointments because you are in isolation, please call us and we will rearrange these for you. We want to look after you and your animal friend.
  • If you have recently been abroad or in contact with an isolated family member, friend or colleague, please call us on the above relevant number before travelling for your appointment.

Appointments

  • We will contact you by telephone / text message / email regarding your appointment to ask you questions regarding self-isolation and any health concerns you may have linked to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • When you arrive for your appointment please call reception to alert them of your arrival. Please wait in your vehicle until a member of staff comes to collect your pet. We ask that all children remain in the vehicle.
  • Due to the restrictions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, most consultations will be performed by telephone. Keep your phone on and handy as a clinician will phone you to discuss your pet’s complaint, create an investigation plan and thereafter a treatment plan.
  • If your pet is admitted for sedation and investigation only or follow-up radiographs, your pet may be returned to you by a nurse or duty vet. Where possible clinicians will then follow up with a phone call or email. In routine, non-urgent cases this may be 24-72 hours after your visit.

Recheck appointments

  • At our orthopaedics and neurology practice, we are trying to keep recheck examinations to a minimum. Our reception team will contact you in the run-up to your pet’s recheck examination and may arrange a telephone consultation with one of our specialists instead of a physical recheck examination.
  • If you have to attend a recheck examination with your pet please wait in your car when you arrive and call reception to let the team know you have arrived. Please wait in your vehicle until a member of staff comes to get you. We also ask that all children remain in the vehicle.

Discharge appointments

  • When you arrive to collect your pet from the clinic, please stay in your car and phone the clinic to let them know you have arrived.
  • We will email a set of discharge instructions prior to your pet’s discharge appointment. Please read these instructions, prepare any questions and send these to us via email.
  • In most cases, we will bring your pet to your car, give you a brief verbal handover and answer any questions you may have.
  • We will not be able to show you imaging or arthroscopy videos while social distancing measures are in place.

Owner visits

  • To adhere to the government guidelines on social distancing we are not able to allow family visits with hospitalised patients for the near future.
  • Our teams will ensure that you are kept up to date on your pet’s care and treatment via telephone and email.

New referrals

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following the advice from Government and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and are now able to accept routine, urgent and emergency cases.

  • Please contact your primary care vet in the first instance for advice and they can arrange a referral to us if specialist care is indicated.

Repeat prescriptions

  • Should your animal require a repeat prescription please ensure you submit your requests to the practice with plenty of notice, before your medication supply runs low.
  • Due to the current demand, we will only be able to provide you with 30 days of medication at a time. Please bear with us during this time whilst we process your requests.

If you have any concerns regarding your pet’s current medication plan please contact the specialist overseeing the patient for further advice.

Outpatient rehabilitation appointments

  • We are now able to offer outpatient physiotherapy clinics on Mondays and Thursdays and underwater treadmill sessions Monday to Friday at our Rehabilitation Centre in Eashing. To book please call the practice on 01483 423761.
  • Our inpatient rehabilitation service continues to be provided for those patients staying with us.

COVID-19 infographic

In these challenging times, we wanted to reach out to our referring vets to give you an update on our current service provision.

We want to continue to offer a world-class referral service to our existing and new clients during the coronavirus pandemic.

To ensure we are able to maintain a service we have changed the way we work and have altered the way we interact with clients with most consultations occurring over the phone. We are ensuring our staff adhere to social distancing guidelines and have altered our clinical hygiene protocols to align with government recommendations.

We want you to know that we are here to help you during these difficult times.

  • We will continue to offer a 24/7 emergency service for patients who need our help.
  • We will continue to see urgent orthopaedic and neurological consultations on a daily basis.
  • We have now resumed seeing routine orthopaedic and neurological cases.
  • We will continue to offer radiographic interpretation and phone support for cases you are seeing.

We will get back up to a full provision of routine orthopaedic and neurological consultations once the crisis abates. We are putting measures in place to allow us to increase our routine orthopaedic consultations to address any backlog of cases which develops.

The COVID-19 crisis will undoubtedly provide us with challenging situations where the normal referral pathway cannot be followed. Guidance on how to get animals to us when clients are affected by COVID-19 or self-isolating can be found in the section above ‘latest guidelines for clients.’

We will keep you updated over the coming months as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. It is important that the veterinary community does as much as possible to support each over the coming months. If you are struggling with a case, please remember we are here to help.

Yours sincerely,

Fitzpatrick Referrals Orthopaedics & Neurology Team

We wanted to assure you that even though we are all facing uncertain times, we are still here to help you and your clients as much as we possibly can. Sadly, as we all know cancer is not the easiest disease to put off until life becomes more normal, and so at Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology and Soft Tissue we have made essential changes to our service to keep us a safe as possible, yet continue to offer you and your clients a helping hand.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the entire hospital workforce has divided into 2 teams, with only 1 team being on-site at once. The teams rotate and work independently of each other, working 4 days in and then out for 4 days. This means we can offer you a regular service 7 days/week which we hope you will find valuable. All patients will be picked up in the car park area to minimise contact and keep our staff safe and reassure your clients. Clients are no longer entering the building.

We are now able to see routine, urgent and emergency cancer and soft tissue cases.

We are aware that some of you have moved to a video consultation service, please be assured that as long as you feel that your patient falls into our area of expertise, we are happy to see them directly, even if you haven’t physically been able to assess them yourselves. i.e. you are able to refer a patient to us if your only contact has been a video consultation and you believe a second opinion is indicated.

As always we are open to any feedback or suggestions you may have for us to continue to support you and your teams. If you have any further questions on how the oncology and soft tissue services are running or if you are looking for advice on a patient please email [email protected]

Please continue to be safe and remember we are all in this together.

Yours sincerely,

Fitzpatrick Oncology & Soft Tissue Team

Last updated: Thursday 18th June 2020. This guidance remains in place until further notice. 

Fitzpatrick Referrals