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Kirkcaldy 01592-599500
Glenrothes (Woodside) 01592-757373
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Leven 01333-423396

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St Clair Veterinary Group


Important Changes to St Clair Vet Group's Emergency Service at Nights and on Sundays

From Monday 12 September 2016 our practice, along with several other local veterinary practices in Fife, will be utilising the dedicated emergency service provider Vets Now to handle our out of hours accident and emergency cover.

Who are Vets Now?

Vets Now provide a dedicated out of hours Emergency and Critical Care service for pets. Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Fife, Vets Now already partners with over 1,000 veterinary practices across the UK to ensure that pets have access to the best possible care day and night. The Vets Now team, made up of highly skilled emergency vets and nurses, are dedicated to out of hours Emergency and Critical Care so they are ready and waiting should you have a pet emergency in the middle of the night or over the weekend.

Vets Now are also closely connected with and support the Pet Blood Bank UK Charity whom St Clair Veterinary Group have hosted very successful collection sessions for over the last 18 months.

Why make these changes?

For our entire history (dating back to the 1920s!) St Clair Veterinary Group, and it's precursors, have provided their own out of hours emergency cover to the pets and animals of Fife. This means that the trusted and familiar vets and nurses that you see in our practice on a daily basis are also 'on call' every night and weekend of the year. This has become an increasingly difficult service to provide as our practice grows and we strive to provide the best possible care for your pets at all times.

Emergency and critical care medicine and surgery for pets has become a very specialised area, with all of us wanting the best possible care for our pets at all times of the day and night. Vets Now focus entirely on this aspect of veterinary care and so can provide a team of vets and nurses highly trained in these areas at nights and weekends.

Here at St Clair Veterinary Group we have a fantastic team of vets and nurses, many who hold (or are studying for) additional qualifications to enhance their level of expertise. A significant number of our staff have been with us for many years, showing a fantastic loyalty to both the practice and it's large client base. A lot of our vets and nurses have young families and find it increasingly difficult to juggle working at nights with bringing up their children. There is also the issue that some of our most experienced staff members are regularly not available during the daytime (when they are needed most) having just completed a night shift.

As directors of the practice we aim to achieve two goals by making these changes. The first is to provide our clients with a specific dedicated emergency and critical care service for their pets out with normal working hours, staffed by vets and nurses who have a wealth of experience and work solely within this field. The second is to ensure that our own team of trusted and familiar vets and nurses are here for you every day of the week without fail, and that they are not fatigued from having had sleepless nights on call.

What does this mean for St Clair Vet Group clients?

Our main surgery in Kirkcaldy will act as the host practice for Vets Now which means that there will be no change for our clients in where they take their pets in cases of emergency. Our emergency phone number remains the same - 01592 599500. If your pet is hospitalised with us then the Vets Now team will treat and care for them through the night, working to a care plan drawn up by us and discussed with the critical care team at a handover meeting each evening. A second handover meeting will take place early each morning between Vets Now and St Clair staff to ensure there is full communication about each hospitalised pet's progress through the night.

What hours will Vets Now be operating at our practice?

Our telephones will be passed over to the Vets Now team from 7pm on Monday to Friday and brought back to St Clair at 8am Monday to Saturday. On Saturday the telephones will go over at 5pm and will remain with Vets Now until 8am Monday morning. We will continue to run our evening weekday surgeries as at present at Kirkcaldy and although we will not take emergency calls on Sundays, we will be opening up the full day for routine appointments at Kirkcaldy as long as they are booked in advance. This latter measure should hopefully improve our availability for clients who struggle to get weekday appointments due to work commitments.

These changes to the way in which we operate our out of hours emergency service have been very carefully thought through over the last year. Our two principle aims are to be able to provide the best possible level of clinical expertise to your pets in an out of hours emergency situation, whilst at the same time ensuring that the practice is fully staffed during the day with the familiar, experienced and highly qualified team of vets and nurses we have at St Clair Vet Group.

Kindest regards,

Ian Paterson MRCVS (Director) Jarlath Busby MRCVS (Director) Neil Geddes MRVCS (Director)