Pets and Vets: What Has Covid 19 Done For Us?

Pets and Vets: What Has Covid 19 Done For Us?

Veterinary Practices Have Worked Hard To Serve Pets & Livestock

Through this time of Covid 19 pandemic, veterinary professionals and practices have worked hard to serve pets and public, maintain the health and well-being of their staff and function as viable businesses; but at what cost?

Early Effects Of Lockdown On Veterinary Practices

Successful veterinary practices must perform as commercially viable businesses as well as accessible and effective public services.

In April 2020, when the first nationwide lockdown was still in its early days, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons began a series of comprehensive monthly surveys of UK veterinary practices.
These RCVS surveys reveal that the Coronavirus pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the life and viability of UK veterinary practices.

Monthly Survey Tracks Progress Under Pandemic

Of the 532 practices that responded to the RCVS April survey, 80% of vet practices reported that they had been forced into ‘significant cuts to services’.

97% of practices said they were limited to emergencies or urgent cases only. Equine service practices suffered larger cuts (75%) than small animal (19%) and mixed animal (14%) practices.

On commercial viability, 66% of practices reported weekly turnover reductions of more than half, although 71% said they had no plans yet to close surgeries.

62% had placed veterinary surgeons on furlough or intended to do so. For other practice roles, the figures were 64% for veterinary nurses and 78% for other support staff.

Making Progress Under Changing Covid Conditions

The summer relaxation of some restrictions saw 85% of practices reporting a resumption of ‘near normal’ operating conditions with nearly a third reporting ‘business as usual’.

More recent RCVS surveys show UK veterinary practices adapting quickly with the more nuanced response necessary to maintaining the health of patients, public, practice staff and the business.
The situation for furloughed staff had improved greatly with only 10% of practices reporting furloughed veterinary surgeons, compared to 47% just three months earlier.

56% of practices said that cash flow had stabilised or improved on the situation 3 months earlier. Worryingly, 20% responded that cash flow had worsened since before the pandemic.

Uncertain Future For Vets Under Covid-19

Practices are likely to face continuing uncertainty as rules and guidance change quickly in response to changing Covid-19 infection rates.

Vets with a cross-border client base, and practices with surgeries in two or more UK regions, each setting their own regulations, may find difficulties in co-ordinating services and resources.
The effect of ‘track and trace’, and the consequent issue of quarantine and self-isolation, may have further unpredictable effects on the staffing of surgeries.

Changes to UK Government Support Schemes such as Business Interruption Loans and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme are likely to cause a further administrative burden, while their on-going future value and availability have yet to be ascertained.

However, practices are learning to be resilient and responsive in continuing the provision of emergency cover and essential or legally mandated services such as routine screening for Bovine TB.

Keeping Practices Safe And Well Under Covid-19

Resources and guidelines for maintaining the health and welfare of the public, patients and practitioners are much more readily available now than at the beginning of the pandemic.
Among those offering authoritative advice, The British Veterinary Association (BVA) are providing a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions on Coronavirus for Veterinary Professionals and The Public.

Guidance on supporting the physical, mental, social and financial health and well-being of veterinary professionals is available in a Vetlife Helpful Guide produced by Helpline Manager, Dr. Rosie Allister.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for veterinary professionals is now more readily available than at the beginning of the pandemic.

Supplies of disposable nitrile gloves, disposable medical facemasks, hand sanitiser and surface cleaning solutions can be ordered efficiently and economically from Vetlab Supplies Consumables Range.

Visit our website or Tel: 01798 874567

Veterinary Infection Control Made Easy

Veterinary Infection Control Made Easy

G9 Veterinary Cleaning & Hygiene Range

Joseph Lister’s 1860s application of carbolic acid to disinfect and sterilise surgical instruments, incisions and dressings laid the foundation of modern antiseptic surgery. G9 Veterinary Instrument, Hand and Surface Cleaners continue to provide an advanced response to the problem of animal-to-animal and animal-to-human infection.

Hygiene and Cleanliness In Veterinary Practice

Animals in a weakened or compromised state of health are susceptible to further infection. High levels of hygiene and cleanliness are vital to the safeguarding not only of other animals but also of humans working in or visiting a veterinary practice.

Poor or incomplete cleaning of surfaces, instruments and veterinary equipment can leave residual populations of infective agents. Having survived ineffective cleansing, residual agents may evolve an ongoing tolerance or even resistance to those cleaning regimes.

Cleanliness and Hygiene Is Fundamental To RCVS Accreditation

The UK Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s Core Standards requires veterinary practices to comply with ‘minimum standards of cleanliness and hygiene’ at all levels of accreditation.

General practices are expected to meet these standards and to keep their premises ‘clean and well maintained’. Veterinary Hospitals must achieve these standards and to submit to a rigorous examination of its facilities with emphasis on cleanliness and sterility.

Government bodies such as DEFRA, Local Authorities and organisations including the British Equine Federation further require their license holders and members to take all reasonable precautions to prevent and control the spread infectious diseases, pathogens and parasites among their animals and people.

Maintenance Of Hygiene And Cleanliness In Veterinary Facilities

Key to maintaining high standards of infection control, and to minimise the infection risk to animals and to humans, is the removal of the potential for the sharing or transfer of infected or infectious material.

Any residual organic material, including blood, mucous, tissue, urine and even hair has the potential to harbour and transfer pathogenic parasites, bacteria, viruses, fungi and viable spores.

Contaminated laboratory disposables can be easily removed from the veterinary environment and safely destroyed. Laboratory clothing may be disposable or decontaminated by specialist launderers. Surfaces such as treatment tables, and reusable equipment, however, generally require on-site decontamination.

Cleaning and Sterilisation of Laboratory and Surgery Surfaces

Standards for effective surface cleaning and sterilisation fluids are given by DEFRA in conformity with the Biocidal Products Directive (BPD) issued by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE). G9 Surface Disinfectant Cleaner meets the DEFRA ‘General Orders’ standard and accredited European Chemical Agency (ECHA) Veterinary test standards. Effective at an economical 1 in 100 dilution, G9 Surface Disinfectant Cleaner is proven against a broad spectrum of pathogens:

Bacteria: including Mycobacteria, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureas, Enterococcus hirae, Proteus Vulgaris, MRSA, Escherichia coli, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella typhimurium, Listeria monocytogenes, Rhodococcus equi, Streptococcus equi, Acinetobacter baumanni.

Spores: including those of Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium difficile.

Viruses: including Bovine Enterovirus, Canine parvovirus, Feline calicivirus, Adenovirus 5, Murine norovirus.

Fungi and Yeast: including Aspergillus brasiliensis and Candida albicans.

G9 Alcohol Free Disinfectant Wipes

For convenience and speed of use, G9 Disinfectant Alcohol Free Wipes are proven effective in 30 seconds against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and E-coli, and against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger in 60 seconds. In addition, with a shelf life of 2 years, G9 Wipes are applicable to all medical, laboratory and veterinary areas including kennels, reception areas and surface disinfection of large equipment.

Hand Hygiene In Practices and Animal Facilities

Skin disinfection is essential for practitioners moving between animals, between animals and people or just between potentially infected environments.

G9 Chlorhexidine Hand Scrub and G9 Alcohol Hand Disinfectant Gels contain a unique blend of chlorhexidine digluconate effective against bacteria, yeast and micro-organisms. The inclusion of moisturisers prevent drying of the skin through frequent use and provide protection where the time available for hand cleansing and drying is limited.

Laboratory Equipment and Instrument Sterilisation

G9 Instrument Cleaners & Disinfectants effectively digest away proteinaceous and organic material including blood, mucus, faecal and vomited matter from the surface of instruments and endoscopes.

Suitable for use in soak baths, ultrasonic cleaning machines and automated processors, G9 Instrument Disinfectant contains no harmful glutaraldehyde, phenols, chlorine or peracetic acid and is 100% biodegradable.

G9 Veterinary Instrument, Hand and Surface Cleaners provide the reliable, comprehensive and economical solution to the potential risks of animal-to-animal and animal-to-human infection.

For further information visit our website or telephone us: 01798 874567