For Vets For Owners

April 20, 2020

How ICR Vets are using video consults during covid-19

Joanna Woodnutt BVM BVS MRCVS

April 20, 2020

Interview with Becky Keeble MRCVS,
Clinical Director of ICR Vets.

We thought we’d take some time to head out (metaphorically!) and track down (virtually!) some of our platform users to take a little look at how they’re benefitting from using our VetHelpDirect video consultation platform. First up is ICR Vets, a large multi-branch practice in Scotland.

“We had been looking into starting video consults this year and had already planned to be part of the trial for VetHelpDirect. The coronavirus pandemic pushed us to speed up the process! Kim and the team at VetHelpDirect have been very supportive – there is always someone on hand to help with issues.

Video consults during Covid-19 have enabled us to see all cases (except dire emergencies) to assess whether we need to see them at the clinic. Most cases, with the support of the RCVS, have been able to have medication prescribed remotely removing the need to see the client at the surgery and potentially endanger our staff. With this service we are still able to maintain animal welfare and keep our patients comfortable with the treatment they need, at a distance.”

That sounds great! What sort of consults are you seeing then?

We have used video consults for everything except emergencies – ear infections, wounds, skin problems, eye issues, post op checks, weight clinics (teaching clients how to weigh and body condition score), to discuss and visualise mobility problems, face to face discussions of medical issues e.g. PUPD, to show clients how to do procedures themselves like removing bandages or emptying anal glands.

Have you any advice for vets setting up the system?

We have public appointments available from 9am-5pm which works well – all reception has to do is send a client an invite to the platform and they book themselves an appointment. We use private invites for any ‘cheaper’ appointments e.g. nurse or POCs as the only public ones we want to be available are the full price consults.

What do your clients think?

Clients have been happy to pay our normal consult fees for all of the video consults – they have all seen the value in being able to have a face to face discussion with a vet or nurse in the safety of their own home. The nice thing about the platform is that it is a professional face on the video consults, and that the payment is taken as the client books.

Will this change how you work post-coronavius?

This will change how we work post coronavirus – we will continue to offer nurse and vet video consultations to all clients- we had planned to set up anyway. The clients definitely appear to see the benefit of the service to themselves in not having to travel to the practice and take time out of work or home, and also the reduced stress for the pet. 

A lot will depend on the RCVS prescribing rules – assuming these are tightened up again to mean we need more physical examinations it may be that we video consult more for follow ups and post op checks, but whatever the use we will definitely continue to provide a video consult service after Covid-19.

Click here: For more information on the VetHelpDirect video platform