Coronavirus diaries: London Vet Specialists

It’s safe to say we did not expect Covid-19 to have quite the effect it did. We were all under the impression that increased hand hygiene and maintaining distance would be enough to keep everyone safe and well. 

When lockdown was introduced the world was hit hard, very quickly. 

In under 24 hours, most of our routine work was cancelled and we began to implement measures to protect our team, clients and patients. 

Initially, this was challenging but we overcame this time working with fewer staff and offering video and telephone consultations. 

In fact, during this period our team of dedicated specialists and registered nurses actually created a considerable amount of CPD content to provide expertise to other veterinary professionals who were working from home. 

Naturally, we followed guidance from our governing body the RCVS, BVA and the government. We also had a number of meetings and discussions both internally and with the wider Linnaeus family to formulate plans and implement new policies and working patterns. 

We honestly couldn’t be any prouder of our team and the way they adapted to altered working hours and shift patterns to ensure we were able to continue providing an exceptional level of care during what was an unprecedented time. 

As the pandemic seems to diminish, we are again changing our policies. We are aware a lot of our patients need our care and attention and we are working hard to keep our team, clients and patients safe.

We have seen an increase in emergencies, as well as elective procedures and cases which we were unable to perform during the lockdown period. 

LVS is part of a wider, supportive family in the shape of Linnaeus. None of our staff were furloughed despite the economic pressures presented by the pandemic. Without the help and support of Linnaeus and Mars Veterinary Health this would have been almost impossible to manage. 

Our team has also become increasingly tech-savvy – and quickly! Although this wasn’t without its challenges, especially as turning it off and on again didn’t always seem to help! 

Almost entirely, though, we applied new ways of working and fulfilled these with determination and ease.  

As a team, we’ve certainly come together and supported one another during this time. We have become very aware of the exceptional level of support from Linnaeus and Mars Veterinary Health, and we have learned that, whatever is thrown our way, we have the talented team to deal with it. 

There is, of course, still a lot of unpredictability and I’m sure there will be future challenges to overcome. I am also sure we have the resilience to tackle them head-on, just as we did with coronavirus.

By Luke Frewin, hospital manager at London Vet Specialists, which is part of Linnaeus

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