Unprecedented times. Past and future is now the before and after coronavirus – we have no roadmap for this and need to accept a new ‘normal’, which may change daily.

We are collating resources to help you support your patients, your staff, your loved ones… yourselves. In the face of this uncertainty and mounting challenges, remember Vetlife offer 24/7 support by both telephone 0303 040 2551 and email. So please do contact them if you need to talk, and for financial and moral support.

Support for vet practices

The major veterinary organisations are increasingly co-ordinating efforts. Watch this space for further updates.

BVA – Collating advice resources from government, medicines agencies, public and animal health risks, social distancing and coronavirus infection control guidance. They have a weekly update at 12pm on Sundays free on the Webinarvet. They’ve also created a guide for determining which clinical cases constitute an emergency.

SPVS – Practical resources and advice, such as a contingency checklist and a downloadable editable template for practice meetings.

VMG – collated resources and actions to consider lists

SPVS-VMG have teamed up to create a series of helpful podcasts – everything from how individual practices are managing, to staff furloughs, to the financial support packages available for practices. Updated regularly with fresh materials

RCVS – FAQs page

Staffing – both Simply Locums and Vetsurgeon/Vetnurse websites have suspended fees for registering a practice and posting job ads respectively.

Virtual consultations – VetHelpDirect are offering 3 months free of charge access for practices, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Support for families

With all children home until further notice, and the likelihood of increasingly restricted activities there are increasing numbers of home-schooling and home entertainment resources being shared on social media.

Read Liz’s blog for Vetlife and BVA written for mental health awareness week on the challenges of parenting during a pandemic; ” If you can start and end the day smiling and hugging with your kids, you’re doing amazing!”

If, like me, you’re all of sudden thrust into the role of primary educator (on top of parent, job, household, life, self-care) here’s a list of great resources in our Veterinary Woman Home-School guide. Please contact us if you have any to add. A big shout out to Greg Dickens – a vet-entomologist and his facebook live session on bugs are brill. Joe Wicks – fitness instructor and school fitness ambassador – is running PE sessions for kids 9am every weekday via his youtube channel. He’s also donating proceeds from advertising on this to the NHS.

We’ll also share via our facebook page, and you can follow the discussion threads on the Vet Mums group.

Support for YOU

We are social animals being asked to observe social distancing – it’s simply not natural. Additionally, we face uncertainty, work pressures, financial pressures, concern for family members and leisure restrictions. However, we are also better connected and virtually resourced than ever before. Here are some of the ways you can access and action vital methods of connection, exercise and calm.

Vetlife have produced a great presentation/webinar, plus tips on how to cope with the challenges and adjustments we’re all having to make. We simply cannot care for others unless we take steps to ensure self-care.

Virtual meet-ups, CPD and classesVets: Stay, Go, Diversify has a helpful weekly round up of live and recorded sessions. Everything from personal development CPD to BVA updates to yoga and VetFit classes. Plus, they’re running a daily tea-club in collaboration with Vet Times at 5pm Mon-Thurs and 8pm on Fridays.

Please contact us with any virtual session you’d like us to share and promote.

Virtual meetups – there are numerous platforms to facilitate remote catch-ups. I’ve already been invited to a virtual pub meet on Microsoft Teams, a catch-up with University friends on Zoom, and a my kids are organising a virtual play date. Set a date, time, and send platform invites. Get creative and let us know in the comments what works for you.