Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Veterinary centre gives equipment to doctors’ surgery

Veterinary centre gives equipment to doctors’ surgery

THE Henley Veterinary Centre has donated personal protective equipment to help staff at the Hart Surgery.

The animal practice in Reading Road has been operating on an emergency-only basis since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

Owners are asked not to attend the surgery without prior arrangement. When an appointment has been made, visitors should stay in their car and a member of staff will come to collect their pet.

As a result, staff have been able to build up a supply of equipment, including gloves, aprons and face masks, and have also donated items to the GP surgery in Twyford as that is close to its sister branch.

Erik D’Arcy-Donnelly, a veterinary surgeon, said: “We have cut down on everything that is considered routine — only if an animal is deemed to be in pain or suffering we will see them. As a result, we are operating less and it is mainly in operations that we would be fully geared up to be sterile.

“We obviously need PPE to protect ourselves when we go into the car park to collect the animal but also to reassure the owner they are not getting anything from us. We do need masks and gloves for that.

“ In terms of fully disposable gowns, we are using less of them so we thought we would donate them to a worthwhile cause.”

The practice has donated 800 gloves, 30 sterile gowns, 50 face masks, a roll of aprons and more than 100 hats. It has also offered the use of its autoclave machine, which is able to sterilise equipment so it can be reused.

Mr D’Arcy-Donnelly explained: “It has a bag that they can put dirty gowns in and seal it. They drop it back to us and we sterilise it so that the equipment can be used again.

“I think that is going to be a massive help. Both surgeries told us what they wanted from the pile and it has been distributed accordingly.

“Sarah Whittaker, our lead nurse, had the idea and spoke with the Hart Surgery. People have been trying to get PPE from everywhere and it doesn’t matter how much you have. We go through it so fast in the course of a day and doctors must be going through even more than us at the moment.

“It is about showing community spirit and the goodness in people. The clients support us all the year so in a way it is just us giving back to the community. Every small bit helps.”

Fiona Nugent, lead practice nurse at the surgery, said: “We are very grateful to them and to everyone who has donated supplies to us.

“It is particularly kind of the vets because they are under similar pressure and still have to work and treat animals at this time.”

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