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24 hour care Tel: 01908 611637
Tickford Street, Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK16 9BA

Spring 2005

Posted: Saturday 9th April, 2005

We have some great news for clients who appreciate the detail that goes into the services we provide. First we have improved the night service we provide on site with some substantial improvements in the night duty rota for our nurses who now provide 24 hour nursing cover on site for a lot of the time. This means that clients can be reassured that when their animals are staying over at the surgery because of illness, the duty nurse can provide more care through the night, and help with emergencies that come in after surgery hours. The duty vet is contactable by the emergency number given on our 24 hour telephone line 01908 611637. Another recent acquisition has been a brand new ultrasound scanning machine which cost 17,400+vat and really is state of the art digital imaging quality which has substantially improved the service we offer. We can scan pregnant dogs and cats, scan abdomens for tumours or cysts and uterine problems, scan hearts and livers; and we can record the images on the computer attached to the machine for future use and studying or comparing at a later date. We can even email the images, although we need a little more time working with the machine to get to know and understand all of its facilities well. NEW CATTERY has been made available in our old surgery which has been refurbished. Paul and Hilarys 9 cats have tested out the facilities while they were away skiing for a week, and they have given it the paws up sign of approval. If you are going on holiday and need a place for your cat to stay, you can always ask us how we can help. As Principal Vet and owner of the Astonlee vet Surgery, I see the business pressures on the mutual aims of clients and my staff in meeting the strongly felt need to provide excellent care for pets, who give so much pleasure, comfort, education and protection for their owners. Increased costs over the years now mean that it costs the practice 15,000 to train each and every veterinary nurse. At any one time we may have 6 trainees so that is 90,000. There have been huge increases in the amount of paperwork and administration, employment law, health and safety issues which have all added to the costs and time spent by me and my staff in running the service, plus the rises in taxes and business rates. For many clients, the costs of providing a vet and all the complex and advanced services that go with that are difficult to understand. However, we have now had in place for the past 4 years our Astonlee Plan which enables clients to pay a little over 1 per week for a cat or 2 for a dog to ensure that they can have up to 500 worth of treatment at Astonlee with a fixed excess payment of only 25. This and if you can afford it PetPlan are extremely important to helping the practice provide the care that clients need and want for their animals. Unfortunately, installment payment schemes simply do not work, because after the illness or accident when the money is needed, so many ill prepared people find they cannot maintain those agreed monthly payments, and so we are having to close that option which has effectively become bankrupt because of the few defaulters who spoil it and our relationship with the vast majority of clients. REALITY is that we have now had to remove credit facilities because of the inability of some clients to keep up their agreement to pay by instalments. This again reemphasises the need for clients to take out the Astonlee Plan or PetPlan if you can afford it.

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The ‘Astonlee Charter’ sets out our promise to you. It is constantly updated as we listen to your views on what you are seeking from us for your pets. Established in 1986 we have always been at the va...

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