Over 80,000 pets have visited an Animal Trust surgery over the past year and 2020 to date. We have seen our biggest peak in demand, as the coronavirus pandemic has meant that more pet owners than ever are looking to access affordable veterinary care.
This rise has not only meant that our surgeries and virtual vet consultation services are in constant demand, but we have also seen the level of incoming calls we receive across the Animal Trust group double on a daily basis. To help us to continually manage the need for our not-for-profit service, we have developed a new Central Help Team who are based at our Ellesmere Port HQ.
‘’Since COVID-19 we understand that many pet owners have faced unexpected financial difficulties which have resulted in them needing to access more affordable veterinary care, meaning we are treating more animals than ever before’’; says Animal Trust Founder and CEO Owen Monie.
Owen continues; ‘’With the demand for our services growing so dramatically it was important for us to continue exploring ways of how we can continue to provide all pet owners with the best access to good care and introducing our new central help team is another way of us achieving this.’’
The new team currently consists of 13 team members who work together to answer incoming calls daily from owners who need to access our services. The team is fully trained in how to triage an animal’s condition and assist owners with booking emergency and urgent on the day appointments, as well as following up on other queries including; prescription requests and patient test results.
Jacqui Maltby, Client Service Manager at Animal Trust Ellesmere Port, manages the Central Help Team: ‘’Since we launched the new central team, we have continued to see the level of incoming calls from concerned pet owners increase. We’re recruiting for more advisors on an on-going basis so we can continually improve on the service we provide.
‘’The team does a fantastic job at assisting owners and really help to take pressure away from our 9 Animal Trust surgeries by managing incoming call queries. We do understand that, at times, some owners may see long wait times on our phone lines. For more routine appointments, we have our online booking service that is readily available.’’
The central team also has a team of three qualified veterinary nurses on hand to assist owners whose pets have visited us recently for routine surgical procedures and who need some post-operative advice or guidance. Similarly, if a pet needs to be booked in for a routine procedure such as a dental procedure or neutering, our veterinary nurses are available for a pre-operative call prior to the surgery being booked in.
Jacqui adds; ‘’As always Animal Trust remains open to everyone and there is no eligibility criteria to meet when using our services. We hope that by introducing our new central help team that even more owners can be confident that we are always here to provide help and support.’’
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, Animal Trust has remained operational with additional safety measures in place for all visitors to follow when they attend one of our surgeries. If your animal is experiencing an emergency or any life-threatening symptoms, please contact your local Animal Trust surgery or book an emergency appointment.