VetPartners practices donate equipment to NHS to help combat coronavirus

UK veterinary group, VetPartners, is supporting the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by donating ventilators and personal protective equipment.

Veterinary practices that are part of the York-based group have rallied to support their local hospitals by providing vital equipment, including disposable masks, aprons and gloves, for human health workers on the frontline of caring for those who have contracted the Covid-19 virus.

Some VetPartners practices have also been able to donate ventilators to hospitals to help treat patients who may have to be hospitalised with coronavirus.

Under social distancing guidelines from the veterinary profession’s governing body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), routine work has been postponed and vets are seeing emergency and urgent cases only at the practice, while offering routine care via telephone and video. The changes have enabled practices to donate surplus PPE.

Donating the vital equipment will be not risk animal welfare or the risk the health of vets and veterinary nurses, and practice teams have even started making material masks and gowns, which can be washed at a high temperature with detergent, to replace disposable equipment.

A sewing pattern has been shared among some VetPartners’ practices if team members want to get crafty and start making material gowns and masks as an alternative to the plastic protective clothing being donated to hospitals and hospices.

Dr Rachel Dean, VetPartners Director of Clinical Research and Excellence in Practice, pictured, said: “We want to help the awesome NHS staff and carers who are caring for human patients if they request extra items of personal protection equipment. Some of our practices have already donated ventilators, masks, aprons and gloves and we are more than willing to help.

“Human healthcare teams are working tirelessly round-the-clock to look after patients and, as well as being very thankful to them, we want to support them in any way we can. We have disposable masks and aprons we can donate to if we receive requests to help them as they may need additional equipment in coming weeks.

“When our practice managers and clinical directors heard of this, they were only too happy to help and we can look at some of the alternatives of the old-style material garments that can be washed and re-used without causing risking the health of pets.

“Some of our practices are even encouraging at-risk groups who are self-isolating at home to help create the long sleeve clothing gowns and face masks for veterinary teams.”

With 5,495 team members working in nearly 500 sites, VetPartners has contingency plans in place to help practices to continue to provide a service while coronavirus continues to spread across the UK.

For media enquiries, please contact Amanda Little, VetPartners Senior PR and Communications Manager, on 07970 198 492 or email amanda.little@vetpartners.co.uk

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