This is not a decision we have taken lightly, Crieff Vets has a long tradition of providing care to your pets 24/7, for many years. However, things have changed significantly in the past few years and it is no longer sustainable for us to provide excellence in care at all hours.
We have seen a massive rise in the number of clients needing our services. It’s wonderful that so many people have welcomed pets into their families, many for the first time. It does mean, though, that demand for our professional service has increased dramatically over the past 3 years, and we are finding it challenging to keep up.
We are also experiencing much higher demand for our services during the evenings, overnight and at weekends; you, our clients, rightfully want what is best for your pets whatever the time of day or night. This does, however, provide us with some challenges. Currently our vets work full shifts during the week in addition to being on-call for you during the nights and weekends. In the past this may have meant coming into the practice a couple of times a week and once or twice at weekends, this is no longer the case, and we are often finding our vets are working late into or through the night, or all weekend before resuming their usual day shifts. Often vets are needing to drive into the practice, in the wee small hours to provide complex and involved emergency care or surgery, we don’t think this is safe for our vets and nurses and increasingly we don’t think this is the right level of care and service for our patients either. We would love to have more vets here to join us and reduce the amount of duty time the vets perform, but we are currently facing a huge shortage of vets in the UK, making recruiting more team members a real challenge. We have always been proud of the excellence of care our vets provide, but working for this many hours with so little time to switch off makes this level of care unsustainable.