November's newsletter was conspicuous by its absence, partly due to the fact that we've now passed the one thousand customer mark, in only three months, which means I was too busy to write one! Apologies.
Since I wrote last we've taken delivery of our new multiparameter patient monitor which can measure blood oxygen, exhaled carbon dioxide, ECG's and blood pressure, so we can make sure your pets are as safe and healthy as possible during their stay with us. We've also invested in a rigid endoscope, which we hope to arrive before Christmas. it will enable us to look down noses, throats, and ears as well as other places we won't mention! Also in the pipeline is a brand-new, all-electric veterinary ambulance which should be with us in the Spring.
We are delighted to announce that we have another registered veterinary nurse joining us full-time in January to add to the team and its expertise. More to follow later. Some of you may also have noticed that we have a new vet, Sophie, who helps us out once a month. We eagerly hope to persuade her to add to her shifts when her maternity leave ends in the New Year.
People have been asking about our opening hours over the festive period. I hope you will agree that we need a bit of rest and uninterrupted family time just like everyone else. So whilst I'm committed to covering as much of the out-of-hours as the council will allow, we will be taking a complete break on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day, when Minitevet in Melbourne will be available for emergencies, but you will also be able to use Vidivet as normal. Please see the website homepage for their respective details and below for our opening hours;
Saturday 24th December; Open 9am - Midday (Alistair on-call 7am-3pm)
Sunday 25th December; CLOSED (phones will divert to Minitevet)
Monday 26th December; CLOSED (phones will divert to Minitevet)
Tuesday 27th December; CLOSED (Alistair on call 7am-9pm)
Wednesday 28th-Friday 30th; Open as normal.
Saturday 31st December; Open 9am-Midday (Alistair on-call 7am-9pm)
Sunday 1st January; CLOSED (phones will divert to Minitevet)
Monday 2nd January; CLOSED (Alistair on-call 7am-9pm)
Tuesday 3rd January; Open as normal.
We now have about 1100 registered clients with around 2000 pets, which means that we do need to be careful about booking appointments and operations to leave a sensible amount of free time for the inevitable emergencies that occur. With that in mind, it's been disappointing and surprising that we seem to get a lot of 'no-shows'. At least one a day, sometimes more, and it's not just appointments, but also operations (for which we often need to block out upwards of an hour). Whilst I understand that life is unpredictable and sometimes missing appointments happens, I would really appreciate it if you could let us know when you can't attend, even if it's minutes before. Imagine if it was your pet sat waiting for a pain-relieving or welfare-improving procedure because the vet has to wait for another pet that never arrives.
If you are reading this and you aren't yet registered with us, then please consider doing so. Whilst we aren't planning to stop registering clients anytime soon, nor will we routinely turn away unregistered pet owners who need our help, we do now have to prioritise our own registered clients. We get phone calls from unregistered clients insisting we see them for their own convenience during surgeries that are already fully booked. We are under no obligation to see other practice's clients, but I do have an obligation to make sure we have enough time to deal with our own, as well as not to overwhelm the physical and mental health of my staff and I in doing what is a very demanding job. Most of the other practices in the area have multiple vets, as a single vet practice, we can only cope with so much at once, and our registered clients will always be given priority.
With my little moan done, I'd like to thank you all for your ongoing support, especially those of you who have given us google reviews or sent cards, we really appreciate it and it makes all the hard work feel worthwhile. If you'd like to vote for us in the Petplan Practice of the Year awards please click https://www.petplan.co.uk/about-petplan/vets/awards/
With Christmas approaching and the business doing well, I decided to make a couple of donations to local charities. Dordon Angels is a local community group that helps families in the area who are struggling financially, we gave them a cash donation, but they are always looking for presents for children who may otherwise go without at Christmas time, so if you have anything appropriate, or would like to donate, please let me know and I can pass on the details. Secondly, as a big boxing fan myself, I decided to give a donation to Tamworth Boxing Club. For those of you who may not know, Tamworth Boxing Club is not only a vital grassroots boxing gym but also helps young people from across the Midlands who have had educational difficulties at school to continue in full-time education at the centre, whilst also being able to let off steam in the gym, eventually helping them reintegrate into mainstream schools.
Everyone at Wilson's Veterinary Practice wishes you and your pets a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Remember that chocolate, grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts are potentially toxic to pets, a great excuse to eat it all yourself!
See you next year,