This week has been an interesting one at the Maple Street Surgery. In addition to the usual cats, dogs, hamsters, budgies, snakes and ferrets, we have been sharing the surgery with a collection of builders.
To stay at the forefront of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, we are upgrading our kennels and theatres.
As any pet owners who use the Maple Street surgery will testify, the surgery is always busy. Being our emergency out of hours centre and being the site from which the large animal work is coordinated, the surgery is staffed and in use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year so there is never a quiet time to do work on the building.
We have planned the work meticulously for the last 6 months and “hit the ground running” last Friday. With a highly organised team of builders, joiners, plumbers, electricians and flooring contractors, working late into the evenings and all weekend, the work is surging ahead as quickly as possible.
We have programmed the work so that we always have one room of kennels and at least one operating theatre available throughout the period but are restricting non-routine procedures this week.
By next week, if the schedule holds, we will have fully refurbished kennelling with separate cat and dog wards complete with a high spec resin floor for maximum sterility as well as new facilities to accommodate giant breed dogs in air-conditioned comfort. There will be new accommodation for exotic species.
In the theatres, we will have a new high sterility operating theatre with controlled air flow and lighting to allow operations to be conducted in the event of a power-cut. New surgical scrub facilities will have been installed to ensure maximum sterility. Digital dental radiography facilities will have been installed which are similar to those used by human dentists. All anaesthetic gasses will be piped into the theatres from a new cylinder store.
Though parts of the surgery currently look like a building site, the work is on schedule and the results will look outstanding and will ensure that Donaldsons Vets facilities are amongst the best in the region.
Running a modern Veterinary practice can be quite a complex process. At Donaldson’s vets we have 4 fully functioning surgeries as well as the Farm and Equine divisions. Balancing the work rota to ensure that each surgery has the appropriate number of Vets, Receptionists and Nurses can be a difficult process and that job falls to our Practice Manager Lisa Jessop , and the rest of our management team at the Maple Street surgery.
The workload for Lisa and her team has increased significantly of late, as we are currently preparing for a ‘Practice Standards’ Inspection.
The Practice Standards Scheme is run by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. It is a voluntary scheme of accreditation which is designed to re-assure animal owners of the quality of the participating practice. Practice Standards is to Vets what an OFSTED inspection is to schools.
The scope of the inspection is very wide ranging, and includes assessing the quality of the premises, facilities and equipment, the level of training and qualifications of the Veterinary, Reception and Nursing staff and the level of emergency services we provide overnight and at weekends. The Practice protocols on aspects of work including infection control, clinical governance, neutering, vaccination, medicines dispensing, clinical waste disposal and use of X-rays are all examined. Health and Safety policies and Risk Assessments are examined alongside safety data for each individual medicine and hazardous substance stocked and used within the Practice. Servicing records are checked for everything from fire extinguishers and central heating boilers to instrument sterilisers and X ray machines.
Our inspection is scheduled for the end of June and we are to be inspected by Mr Harvey Lock, the retired President of the British Veterinary Association.
The requirements for a modern first class Veterinary Practice are a far cry from the “James Herriot” days! The additional workload in pulling all the information together for each of the surgeries in preparation for inspection day can seem daunting but the assurance that our clients will receive from achieving accreditation will make all Lisa’s efforts worthwhile.