Protecting Those Who Care: Kernow Vets Messaging Lone Worker Service

As a vet practice, there are often you may have employees working alone. This could be an employee travelling to treat animals alone during an emergency, or this could be an employee working alone overnight at a practice with sick animals. Whatever the reason, all vet practices need to have a safe and well-prepared lone-worker policy that supports and protects their employees and their practice.

The dangers of vets lone working

When vets are working alone, there can be additional risks to both them and the animals they are treating. Common risk factors for lone working vets include fatigue, stress, and physical injury. Vets who are suffering from fatigue are more likely to make mistakes as tiredness can lead to errors of judgement, such as missing key information during a diagnosis or misjudging the risk of injury when handling large animals. Fatigue also poses a specific risk to vets who are travelling to visit animals, as high levels of fatigue impact road safety and driving awareness. In addition, there is also the risk of cross-contamination, as vets often move between different animal species and facilities.

Stress can be caused by workload, shift patterns, or external factors such as personal concerns. Stress can lead to burnout, which can make a vet more susceptible to accidents and injury. When vets regularly have to operate as lone workers, signs of stress can be missed, which increases the risk of it leading to other dangers.

Physical injury is a real concern for many vets, even when working with others. However, the risk of physical injury is significantly increased when working alone and away from the vet practice. This is due to the increased need for self-reliance and the potential for less-than-ideal control options for large animals. For example, when treating horses in an owner’s yard, there may not be the option to put the horse in cross ties, a stock stall, or similar. This increases the risk of the horse being able to injure the vet.

The highest risk time is during emergency out-of-hours visits. Emergency calls are often late at night, which increases the risk of the vet suffering from fatigue, while also increasing the risk of driving due to nighttime road conditions. The vet is also more likely to be travelling to the animal’s location, which carries its own risks.

To ensure safety, vets need to take regular breaks, use appropriate protective equipment, and have a buddy system in place in case of an emergency.

Keeping lone working veterinarians safe

Keeping lone working veterinarians safe is a priority, both from a business standpoint and on a personal responsibility front. To ensure their safety, it is important to ensure that they are properly trained on safety protocols, have access to emergency contacts, and are aware of the potential dangers of their work environment.

Additionally, providing lone working veterinarians with personal protective equipment, such as high-visibility clothing, can help improve their visibility and safety. It is also important to ensure that lone working veterinarians are regularly checking in with their managers before, during, and after their shifts and that they have access to a dedicated emergency contact in the event of an emergency.

Finally, offering lone-working veterinarians access to mental health support and resources can help them to stay safe and healthy.

Lone working for farm vets

Farm vets are at particularly high risk when working alone. Firstly, they are more likely to be lone working due to the nature of their role. But they are also more likely to be travelling to an animal at their location, which increases the risk of driving concerns, isolation, poor communication and poor infrastructure.

Working alone as a farm vet can be a difficult and dangerous job, as you are often dealing with large animals in unfamiliar environments. To ensure your safety and the safety of the animals, it is important to take the correct precautions. Have a plan in place if something were to go wrong, such as a first-aid kit, a way to contact someone in case of an emergency, and a method of defending yourself if needed.

Additionally, be sure to take regular breaks to stay alert and refreshed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. With the right preparation and mindset, you can work safely and confidently as a farm vet.

Lone-worker services from Kernow:

At Kernow vets messaging, we offer two main lone-worker services to help keep your vets safe. Our lone-worker protocols are designed to ensure that should the worst happen, we can get help to your vets as soon as possible and ensure their safety, regardless of location, time of day or the concern.

We have several different ways for you to monitor the whereabouts and well-being of your staff, including:

Call check-in service

In this option, your staff member checks in with us by calling at the start and the end of a job, trip, or shift. We then have escalation policies that will be followed accordingly if the check-in call is not received. The escalation process will depend on your specific requirements as a vet practice, but we are happy to offer advice and guidance when deciding on that process. For many clients, the process includes elements such as attempting to contact the lone worker, then informing a manager, and/or monitoring the location of the vet through tracking software in the vehicle.

Hourly check services

If safety is a regular concern, and your vets are working in a higher-risk setting, we have an hourly check-in service. Your staff member can call our dedicated line at pre-arranged times to check-in. As mentioned above, we then have escalation policies to follow if check calls are missed.

By choosing Kernow Vets Messaging, you empower your practice with proactive safety measures that align with industry standards and prioritize the well-being of your veterinary professionals. Join us today for a safer, more secure veterinary practice. Your safety is our commitment!

A Gift to Your Practice: Kernow Vets Messaging’s Seamless Call Answering for the Holidays

A Gift to Your Practice: Kernow Vets Messaging’s Seamless Call Answering for the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, the last thing veterinary practices want to worry about is managing phone calls during Christmas closures and ensuring seamless emergency cover. At Kernow Vets Messaging, we understand the unique challenges that veterinary practices face during this festive period. Our comprehensive telephone answering services are designed to provide temporary cover for Christmas closures, filter out non-emergency calls, and help practices maintain their own emergency cover efficiently.

Temporary Cover for Christmas Closures:

The holiday season often brings about temporary closures for veterinary practices, leaving a gap in communication with clients. Kernow Vets Messaging steps in as a reliable solution, offering seamless answering services to ensure that no call goes unanswered. Our team is trained to handle a variety of queries, providing peace of mind to both practices and their clients during the festive downtime.

Filtering Out Non-Emergency Calls:

Christmas can be a hectic time, and it’s crucial for veterinary practices to focus on emergency cases rather than being bogged down by non-urgent calls. Kernow Vets Messaging uses advanced call filtering systems to identify and prioritise emergency calls, allowing your veterinarians to enjoy more of their Christmas while still ensuring that critical cases receive immediate attention.

Maintaining Your Own Emergency Cover:

We understand the importance of continuity in emergency cover, especially during the holiday season. Kernow Vets Messaging collaborates closely with practices to integrate seamlessly with their existing emergency protocols. This ensures that your practice maintains control over emergency situations, while we provide the support needed to handle overflow daytime calls and out-of-hours answering.

Flexible Set-Up Before Christmas:

With the holiday season fast approaching, time is of the essence. Kernow Vets Messaging wants to assure practices that there is still time for set-ups before Christmas. Our dedicated team will work closely with you to streamline the onboarding process, ensuring that your practice is fully supported and ready to face the holiday rush with confidence.

In the spirit of giving, Kernow Vets Messaging is here to offer veterinary practices the gift of a stress-free holiday season. By entrusting us with your telephone answering needs, you not only ensure that your team can enjoy a well-deserved break but also guarantee that your clients receive the care and attention they deserve, even during the festive season. Don’t let the holiday hustle overwhelm your practice—sign up with Kernow Vets Messaging today and experience the joy of a smoothly managed phone system during Christmas and beyond.

Empowering Change: The Partnership of StreetVet and Kernow Vets Messaging

When you combine the determination of a charity aimed at helping animals belonging to homeless individuals with a cutting-edge veterinary messaging service, the results are nothing short of transformative. Let’s delve into the inspiring journey of StreetVet, their mission, and how partnering with Kernow Vet’s Messaging supercharged their operations.

Who are StreetVet?

StreetVet is a national charity working in 18 locations across the UK, their prime focus is to offer free veterinary care to the pets of those experiencing homelessness. Collaborating closely with partners like hostels and soup kitchens, StreetVet not only provides crucial health checks but also continuous care for pets facing chronic conditions. From addressing minor issues like flea treatments to handling emergencies requiring immediate attention, StreetVet ensures no pet is left behind.

A large part of the work StreetVet does involves preventative treatments such as worming and parasite control. During these regular health checks they also often deal with minor concerns such as lumps, bumps, cuts and scrapes. More significant but still common issues include ear infections and skin problems where they help owners to ensure their pet makes a good recovery with practical advice that is as achievable as possible for the owners, even while facing homelessness. For more severe emergencies StreetVet works with local vet practices to ensure pets are seen quickly and given the best possible care.

The Kernow Connection

With such a vast outreach, effective communication becomes paramount. This is where Kernow Vet’s Messaging came into play. StreetVet uses this service to provide a 24-hour response mechanism, ensuring every registered client can reach out any time of day or night.

Every registered client is given a dog tag with the 24-hour helpline number on it so they can reach out whenever they need to, it also means if the pet is found by someone else there is a number to call so StreetVet. can help reunite the pet with their owner.

Once the client calls the helpline, they reach Kernow Vets Messaging, who can assess the call and pass on all the information to the StreetVet team. Sometimes it’s just a case of asking when the next outreaches, sometimes it’s an emergency such as a road traffic accident, or sometimes it’s just they’ve lost the medication.

How does SreetVet benefit from using Kernow Vets Messaging?

1. 24/7 Support

StreetVet is a registered RCVS veterinary practice and can provide 24/7 support, assuring their clients that assistance is just a phone call away. This continuous support system not only strengthens trust but also ensures that in the face of emergencies, immediate action can be taken.

2. Effective Communication

StreetVet consistently praises Kernow Vet’s Messaging for their efficiency and friendliness. The prompt follow-ups, comprehensive information gathering, and approachable demeanor make each interaction smooth and constructive.

3. Flexibility and Adaptability

Despite StreetVet’s intricate practice structure, Kernow Vet’s Messaging has shown impeccable adaptability. From regular changes to volunteer availability, adding new locations, to ensuring that every process functions flawlessly, Kernow Vet’s Messaging has proved invaluable.

Why StreetVet Recommends Kernow Vet’s Messaging

It’s simple – reliability, efficiency, and a fantastic working relationship. StreetVet can now focus on their primary mission, knowing that their communication backbone, provided by Kernow, is solid and dependable.

The StreetVet Team had this to say:

“The team behind Kernow Messaging are fantastic. Due to all our locations, we have quite a complicated set-up and the team have done their upmost to accommodate this. When we receive a telephone call, everybody’s so friendly and approachable. They’ve always gathered as much information as they can from the client. […] I would recommend Kernow because they are so efficient at managing our phone tree updates, we have to make regular changes, depending on volunteers’ availability. Every time a change is needed, we contact the team and the amendment’s put into place immediately and works without issue. So, we can rely on their support knowing that it’s going to work as planned.”

StreetVet values their fantastic working relationship with Kernow which allows them to have consistent, easy and effective communication. Kernow contacts StreetVet through phone trees but if this isn’t possible, they also text and email the relevant team member to pass on the information, this means that no call or message is ever missed. If the StreetVet team need more information, clarification or context when reading a text, they can call Kernow back and efficiently get through to the relevant person to give them that clarification.

StreetVet’s Expanding Horizons

The figures speak for themselves. Having conducted over 9,700 consultations and aided over 2,500 animals, demand for StreetVet’s support is surging. The charity has seen a 200% increase in demand over the last 24 months.

The cost-of-living crisis has led to more people becoming homeless and this has meant not only an increase in demand for services but also changes in the type of services and clients that StreetVet are supporting.

StreetVet doesn’t just help with vet care, they also provide a care service for the pet if an owner is hospitalised,they will help organise boarding kennels for those animals for a short period of time.

One of the cores aims of StreetVet is to keep pets and owners together wherever possible and they champion the importance of the human-animal bond. In discovering that less than 10%* of UK hostels are pet friendly, they launched the StreetVet Accredited Hostel Scheme in 2020 to make it as easy as possible for hostels to say yes to pets and prioritise keeping owners and their beloved pets together.

Currently, many people experiencing homelessness face the impossible choice between a roof over their heads or giving up their best friend. The StreetVet Accredited Hostel Scheme offers free, accessible veterinary care to registered pets in hostels, as well as support for hostel managers and staff to adopt and implement positive pet policies.

*Dog’s Trust Hope Project and Homeless Link Statistic.

How could you get involved?

If StreetVet’s mission resonates with you, consider volunteering. Whether your strengths lie in veterinary care, administration, marketing, fundraising or finance, StreetVet welcomes all assistance.

StreetVet is always looking for new volunteers across the country, you can apply through their website. Vets and vet nurses are in particularly high demand as volunteers as they can go out and do most of the veterinary work required for ongoing support. But those without vet experience are also valuable to the team in other ways. Most volunteers donate around 2 hours per month of their time. Not only are you supporting a great cause, but you will also meet a wonderful team of volunteers who share your passion for helping both animals and people.

Visit StreetVet’s official website www.streetvet.org.uk to learn more and discover how you can make a difference.

Case Study: Kernow Vets Messaging Enhances Out-of-Hours Call Handling for a Multi-Disciplinary Animal Hospital.

Background on Practice:

Kernow Vets Messaging had the opportunity to collaborate with a multi-disciplinary Small Animal referral-only teaching Hospital within the University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science. The hospital provides clinical teaching for 4th and 5th-year undergraduate students, as well as multiple internship and residency programs for post-graduate veterinarians across various disciplines. With approximately 11,000 appointments per year and a staff of around 170, including clinicians, nurses, technical, and administrative personnel, the hospital faced challenges in managing the expectations and demands of primary care practices for their out-of-hours services.

The Main Challenge and Resolution:

The primary challenge faced by the hospital was effectively managing the expectations and demand for their out-of-hours services from primary care practices. The hospital needed a professional and sensitive out-of-hours call-handling provider to handle a high volume of calls while portraying a positive image of the hospital and its services to referring vets and clients. Kernow stepped in to address this challenge by delivering a first-class service to the referring vets, clients, and the hospital’s duty out-of-hours clinical teams.

Understanding the hospital’s requirements, Kernow established a simple and effective call-handling process. They implemented call filtering mechanisms to handle non-urgent calls during normal working hours, allowing their team to focus on urgent and emergency inquiries that required immediate attention from the hospital’s clinical teams. This streamlined approach significantly reduced issues and complaints from service users, leading to improved overall satisfaction with the out-of-hours service.

Testimonial from the Practice:

We have used Kernow’s out-of-hours call handling service since April 2022 and in this time, we have always received a 1st class service. Our in-house clinical teams have reported a marked improvement in the call information communicated to us and we have had no reported issues with the accuracy of the client or referring vets’ contact details or clinical information provided. The call-handling team is always efficient, professional, and empathetic towards our callers and the Kernow management team has supported us however necessary at all times. I can say in all honesty that we have received only positive feedback from our service users with zero negative comments or complaints since switching to Kernow. They have made a significant difference to the lives of our clinical teams working out of hours, allowing them to focus on patient care in the knowledge that any urgent calls will be managed professionally and efficiently by the Kernow team. Switching to Kernow’s call-handling service has proven to be an excellent decision and we are thankful for their continued support.

Ongoing Benefits and Next Steps:

The ongoing benefit of partnering with Kernow is the continued confidence that referring vets and clients will receive the same level of service as the hospital’s internal users. By eliminating routine or incorrect messages during reduced staffing periods, the hospital’s teams can dedicate their full attention to inpatient care and emergency calls, providing the best care possible when it matters most.

Looking ahead, while the hospital does not currently require call overflow handling during normal working hours, the trust established with Kernow gives them peace of mind knowing that they have a reliable service provider to handle potential overflow should the need arise in the future.

Overall, Kernow has proven to be an invaluable partner, delivering exceptional out-of-hours call-handling services and alleviating the hospital’s challenges. Our support has enhanced the hospital’s reputation and ensured seamless communication with referring vets and clients, benefiting both the hospital’s staff and the animals they care for.

Don’t let out-of-hours call-handling challenges hinder your practice’s reputation and patient care. Experience the exceptional service of Kernow Vets Messaging and discover the peace of mind that comes with reliable, professional, and empathetic call handling. Contact us today to elevate your out-of-hours communication and enhance the overall experience for your referring vets, clients, and clinical teams.

On-the-Go Support: How Kernow Can Benefit Your Mobile Vet Practice

On the go support: How Kernow vets messaging dedicated veterinary answering service can benefit your mobile vet practice.
On the go support: How Kernow vets messaging dedicated veterinary answering service can benefit your mobile vet practice.

As a mobile vet practice, you may struggle to manage your own calls and administration.

Mobile vets spend a considerable amount of time driving to and from appointments​,​ and so are often physically unable to properly manage incoming calls. This is where a dedicated call​-​answering service can be a valuable tool for your veterinary practice.  

Using our call​-​answering service allows you to outsource your customer service and call management. We can manage incoming calls and ensure that clients are able to receive the attention they need as quickly as possible. 

Here are some ways that a telephone​-​answering service can assist a mobile veterinary practice: 

  1. Answering calls  

If you are on the road​,​ constantly dealing with calls and customer services can be an uphill battle. A telephone​-​answering service can answer incoming calls from potential and existing clients, even during out​-​of​-​hours periods or when the mobile veterinary practice is unavailable. This ensures that your customer receives the best possible customer service and have their calls answered quickly at all times. It also means you don’t have to employ an in-house reception team and your clinical staff such as vets and nurses won’t have to handle calls​,​ allowing them to focus on their clinical tasks.  

Perhaps the most important benefit of an answering service is that no incoming calls will be missed during a super-busy day, after hours, on weekends, or on holidays. On average​,​ we answer calls within 6 seconds. Answering calls quickly and with good customer service helps to create happy customers and reduces the chance of a customer becoming irate from waiting or dealing with poor customer service. This can be a huge selling point for your mobile vet practice.  

  1. Scheduling appointments  

A telephone​-​answering service can schedule appointments on behalf of the mobile veterinary practice, reducing the amount of time the veterinarian needs to spend on administrative tasks. Rather than you having to organise your diary while out on a call with another patient​,​ our team can handle all diary management and appointment scheduling. This allows you to give your full attention to the animal in front of you​,​ rather than being distracted by constant calls and requests.  

We are able to provide call​-​handling services to all types of vet practice including equine, small animal, and farm vets. Our industry experience allows us to help our clients create detailed processes ​that​ ensure we can manage your diary just how you like it.  

  1. Handling emergencies​     ​ 

In the event of an emergency, a telephone​-​answering service can take immediate action to contact the mobile vet or refer the client to an emergency veterinary clinic. At Kernow Vets Messaging​,​ we provide a dedicated service specifically for vet clinics​, which​ means that our team are extremely experienced in dealing with all manner of calls for your vet practice. We have been handling veterinary calls since 1993 and have over 400 vets working with us nationwide.  

Our whole team has full and regular training on handling difficult and emergency calls to ensure we get all the appropriate information from the owner as quickly as possible while still providing a calm and reassuring voice for the stressed owner.

For overnight emergencies​,​ this also provides a buffer for vets as they get themselves awake and ready to handle the emergency.  

  1. Providing general information 

A telephone​-​answering service can answer basic questions about the mobile veterinary practice, including hours of operation, services offered, and pricing.  

We find a significant proportion of calls​,​ including out​-​of​-​hours calls​,​ are to ask simple questions. If a vet was handling these calls​,​ this could take them away from far more pressing issues​,​ including emergency calls and clinical work. 

By using a call​-​handling service, we can answer simple questions and handle these calls​,​ but also ensure that calls ​that​ require clinical input are prioritised as a triage system. This ensures the most pressing issues reach the vets as quickly as possible. We have tight protocols​,​ meaning your vets receive every message and our dedicated team handles all of your calls as if they were in your practice, so no animal owners are left waiting.  

Overall, a telephone​-​answering service can help improve the level of customer service that a mobile veterinary practice provides, while also allowing the vet team to focus on providing high-quality care to their animal patients.  

Contact us to find out how Kernow Vets Messaging can help your mobile vet practice today!  

Customer Case Study: How Dignipets has benefitted from using Kernow Vet Messaging

Dignipets has been using Kernow Vets Messaging since 2019, and during this time we have been able to support this specialist veterinary practice’s growth to help even more pets and their owners.

Read on to find out how we managed this.


Who are Dignipets?


Dignipets is a mobile veterinary practice that provides in-home hospice and end-of-life veterinary care for pets. They are an independent veterinary practice based in the Midlands with a team of mobile veterinary professionals.


For many elderly or ill pets, circumstances are often not suitable to make the journey to a veterinary clinic, and if it is practical for you to get your pet to the veterinary practice it is likely to be a stressful and painful process.


This service is so invaluable for pet owners and their animals as they face some of the hardest times in their relationship. For most of us, our pets mean the world to us: they are more than just animals, they are family members and as such making those decisions can be extremely difficult when the time comes. Our pets devote themselves to us, giving us their unconditional love and trust, and as such, they deserve the best from us as pet owners when the time comes.


Dignipets believe that with the right veterinary advice and support, this care is best given in the comfort of the family home. They even offer hospice vet consultations online via video call to provide advice on veterinary care, diet, and support with less stress to you or your pet.


What challenges did Dignipets face before working with us?


As you can imagine from their specialist service, the veterinary staff at Dignipets are constantly on call to support their clients. They also consistently deal with some of the worst parts of pet ownership and animal care as they deal with veterinary hospice care day in day out.

When we started working with Dignipets, they had three vets working in three different areas to cover the widest possible area for quick reaction times during emergency calls. Each vet had an individual phone number to which clients had access. Therefore, all three vets were taking calls at all hours of the day, even dealing with non-emergency nuisance calls. It was very important for the vets that every client spoke to a human being immediately no matter what time of day during the nature of their service.

How did Kernow Vets Messaging change this?

The first thing we did for Dignipets was to set up one central phone number for the business. We sourced a central number for them and oversaw the full set-up process, including sourcing the phone system and ensuring the number would work for all of their calls. We continue to manage their whole phone system, including controlling where calls go at different times of day, as well as providing call-answering services to ensure all calls are answered almost immediately.

By handling their calls, we could then redirect them to the appropriate vet where required. This ensured they were no longer dealing with nuisance calls and were able to have calls filtered appropriately. We access their in-house client system to take calls, provide quick quotes for customers, and filter non-emergency calls.

This helped the team to gain some work–life balance and switch off when not on call. But more importantly, it meant that every distressed pet owner who is dealing with a very difficult part of pet ownership talks to someone compassionate immediately without having to go through answering machines or a waiting jingle. With the added time to focus on the business, they were able to work on growing the practice and now have a team of 8 veterinary professionals alongside a small team of support staff. This has allowed them to help many more owners and pets across the Midlands.

What does Dignipets have to say about our services?

We love having feedback from our customers, and to have the lovely words below from Dignipets, in particular, was extremely satisfying considering the hugely important service they provide.

“As a small mobile veterinary practice that provides 7/7 end-of-life veterinary care, Dignipets has been using Kernow for a few years with great results. Getting the care of Kernow means more sleep for our on-call team, with the peace of mind that even the most distressed pet owners get a discerning empathetic response. Kernow provided us with a dedicated account manager who grows with the account and knows your business, and its people, inside and out. I can highly recommend this service!”

What is next for Dignipets and Kernow Vets Messaging?

We are currently working on helping Dignipets to set up a switchboard so their nurse and practice manager in particular will get the right calls directed to them without a client having to wait together with pet owners who need an urgent visit. This will again improve their services.

If your vet practice is struggling to meet the communication demands of their clients, get in touch to see how we can help you improve your call processes and next to giving excellent care give your team their work–life balance back.

Meet the Team Mondays – Steve Caddy: Operations Manager

Vets Answering Service Meet the Team

Meet the Team Mondays – Steve Caddy: Operations Manager

Name 

Steve Caddy

Role 

Operations Manager

How long have you worked at Kernow?

Over 22 years.

What do you like about working at Kernow? 

Mainly working with the team!

What’s your favourite quote?  

You never see an old man eating a Twix. – Karl Pilkington

If you could remove one food from the planet, what would it be? And why?

Beans!! I seem to have a weird phobia of them.

Your guilty pleasure song?

I can’t think of one…..maybe my humps!

Do you have any pets?

We have inherited a weird dog called Buddy. He’s a jack russel cross pug, and he’s a strange-looking thing!

What would you take with you to a desert Island?

A yacht so I can sail away when I’m ready.

Top 5 people, alive or dead, you would invite to a dinner party? 

Tom Hardy, Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Steven Merchant, and Bill Bailey

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza

What’s the best thing that has happened to you so far this week?

It’s Monday, so not much has happened this week I did through a phone stress ball at my colleague, and it bounced right off the top of her head.

What are your 15 minutes of fame?

I once went to a gig at a small venue on Halloween dressed as a banana, and every band dedicated their set to me.

Unleash the Full Potential of Your Answering Service!

Unleash the Full Potential of Your Answering Service!

A dedicated veterinary answering service, like Kernow Vets Messaging, plays a vital role in the seamless operation of veterinary practices. Beyond simply answering calls, this service offers numerous advantages, such as improved customer service, efficient lead conversion, reduced staff stress levels, and much more. To ensure you make the most of Kernow Vets’ dedicated messaging service, here are our top tips: 

  1. Keep us Informed:  

Keeping our dedicated messaging team updated about any changes in your veterinary practice is crucial. By sharing essential business updates, staff changes, or alterations to internal procedures, we can provide you and your clients with the high-quality service you deserve. This ensures that messages are relayed accurately and promptly to the relevant departments or individuals. Regularly reviewing and updating procedures, especially for emergency callouts or specific medical practices, can further enhance the effectiveness of our service. 

  1. Put Our Service to the Test:  

To gauge the effectiveness of our dedicated messaging service, we encourage you to mystery shop our service by calling your own veterinary practice. This firsthand experience allows you to assess how we handle calls and interact with your clients. It also provides valuable insights into our processes, enabling you to identify areas for improvement. If you discover any aspects that could be enhanced, please inform us, and our team will collaborate with you to design call procedures tailored to your specific needs and those of your valued clients. 

  1. Work with Our Team:  

Whether you are new to utilizing a veterinary answering service or have recently switched providers, it takes time to fine-tune the service to align with your practice’s requirements perfectly. At Kernow Vets, we prioritize understanding your practice’s nuances and processes to provide the most effective support. The more we comprehend how your practice operates and what your clients expect, the better equipped we are to deliver exceptional service. 

  1. Embrace Change:  

Businesses are ever-evolving, and as your veterinary practice grows and changes, your telephone protocols may need to be updated accordingly. Do not hesitate to modify your protocols when you feel they no longer serve your needs optimally. Our dedicated messaging team is here to assist your practice, so reach out to us, share your objectives, and benefit from our wealth of experience. We can offer valuable feedback on what works well and suggest improvements to streamline your communication processes. 

  1. Involve Your Internal Team:  

When introducing an external veterinary answering service, the entire team at your practice can benefit in various ways. By involving every department and team member in the decision-making process, especially during the creation of protocols, you ensure that everyone reaps the maximum advantages of the service. Different individuals within your practice may have unique requirements and insights, so their involvement will help effectively shape your telephone answering protocols’ setup. 

  1. Respond to Messages:  

Ensure that you promptly receive messages from our dedicated messaging team and that they reach the intended recipient with all the necessary information. By replying to messages, you confirm receipt and have an opportunity to provide feedback if anything was missed. Quick responses allow our team to handle crucial customer messages, saving your staff time during busy periods and ensuring rapid resolutions for client issues. 

  1. Seek Advice from Our Team:  

Our dedicated messaging team has extensive experience working with a wide range of veterinary practices. By sharing your goals and providing insights into how your practice operates, we can offer valuable advice based on successful protocols implemented for similar practices. This guidance can help your veterinary practice thrive and achieve its goals. 

To learn more about Kernow Vets’ dedicated veterinary answering service, click here. If you would like to arrange a consultation to discuss how our service can benefit your practice, click here. 

How can Kernow Vets Messaging help you grow your vet practice?

As a veterinarian, you know that running a successful practice is about much more than just providing excellent medical care to your furry patients. It also involves creating a positive customer experience for their owners, and part of that experience is being available to answer their calls and inquiries. However, as your practice grows, so too does the volume of calls you receive, making it difficult to provide the level of customer service you want.

As a new vet practice, you may be planning how best to grow your practice, but you are probably struggling to allow enough spending to truly invest in your expansion. Growing a vet practice on a budget is hard work, and there is often risk associated with a drop in customer service levels.

If your expansion comes at the cost of service or customer experience, you may end up in a much worse position than you started in. Animal owners are unlikely to tolerate poor service for long and will likely look for an alternative vet. Currently, it almost certainly won’t take them long to find a new practice; many vet practices suffer from strong competition, particularly for small animal vets.

The importance of planning for your vet practice

To reduce the risks associated with expansion, you must ensure you have a well-prepared plan for your growth. This includes considering how you will facilitate the expansion.

Will your current premises be large enough for your planned growth?

How many new vets might you need to hire?

Will you need to invest in new equipment or systems?

How will you ensure the quality of service remains the same?

Will you need to hire new administrative employees?

Once you have considered what you will need to facilitate the expansion, you will have to consider the growth’s cost. How will you fund all these new investments in your vet practice?

One way to reduce the risks is to expand on a budget, but this requires careful planning to ensure you maintain service, reach your goals, stay competitive and remain on budget.

How to expand your vet practice on a budget?

One lower-cost option for expansion is to increase the opening hours for appointments. This allows you to welcome new customers who might not otherwise have been able to access your service. But it is also fairly low cost, as you don’t have to purchase additional equipment or expand your premises.

This could include opening late on specific days or offering Saturday appointments. Pet owners working full-time are likely to be particularly grateful for this service, and you may be able to target them directly in your marketing to tap into a new customer base. This is particularly effective if your local competition is not open during these times.

The most significant increase in costs for this form of expansion is wages. You will need to consider if you can ask your current veterinary staff to work additional hours or if you will need to hire new vets and/or vet nurses.

You will also need to consider the level of service you offer to your customers and whether you will need additional administrative staff. This is where Kernow Vets Messaging can help.

How can Kernow Vets Messaging reduce the cost of your vet practice expansion?

Rather than hiring internal administrative employees to answer phones outside of regular working hours, you can outsource your call handling to us. We can put processes in place to support the growth of your practice. We can provide call answering and customer handling within set hours when you may wish to avoid having in-house administrative employees, such as during unfavourable hours or weekends.

Or we can take over all the call handling for your vet practice day and night. In this way, you can reduce your spending on administrative staff and focus that extra budget on investing in your expansion.

We can remove the stress of customer services and call answering, giving your veterinary team the space to focus on their core roles as medical professionals.

We can also offer out-of-hours call handling to facilitate emergency vet call-outs. Many smaller vet practices have stopped offering this, so it could provide an ideal competitive advantage over the other vet practices in your area.

To learn more, check out this blog or contact us to discover how we can help.

How can we support your lone workers and ensure you have a safe lone worker policy?

veterinary lone worker

How can we support your lone workers and ensure you have a safe lone worker policy?

As a vet practice, there are often times you may have employees working alone. This could be an employee travelling to treat animals alone during an emergency, or this could be an employee working alone overnight at a practice with sick animals. Whatever the reason, all vet practices need to have a safe and well-prepared lone-worker policy that supports and protects their employees and their practice.

The dangers of vets lone working

When vets are working alone, there can be additional risks to both them and the animals they are treating. Common risk factors for lone working vets include fatigue, stress, and physical injury. Vets who are suffering from fatigue are more likely to make mistakes as tiredness can lead to errors of judgement, such as missing key information during a diagnosis or misjudging the risk of injury when handling large animals. Fatigue also poses a specific risk to vets who are travelling to visit animals, as high levels of fatigue impact road safety and driving awareness. In addition, there is also the risk of cross-contamination, as vets often move between different animal species and facilities.

Stress can be caused by workload, shift patterns, or external factors such as personal concerns. Stress can lead to burnout, which can make a vet more susceptible to accidents and injury. When vets regularly have to operate as lone workers, signs of stress can be missed, which increases the risk of it leading to other dangers.

Physical injury is a real concern for many vets, even when working with others. However, the risk of physical injury is significantly increased when working alone and away from the vet practice. This is due to the increased need for self-reliance and the potential for less-than-ideal control options for large animals. For example, when treating horses in an owner’s yard, there may not be the option to put the horse in cross ties, a stock stall, or similar. This increases the risk of the horse being able to injure the vet.

The highest risk time is during emergency out-of-hours visits. Emergency calls are often late at night, which increases the risk of the vet suffering from fatigue, while also increasing the risk of driving due to nighttime road conditions. The vet is also more likely to be travelling to the animal’s location, which carries its own risks.

To ensure safety, it is important for vets to take regular breaks, use appropriate protective equipment, and have a buddy system in place in case of an emergency.

Keeping lone working veterinarians safe


Keeping lone working veterinarians safe is a priority, both from a business standpoint and on a personal responsibility front. To ensure their safety, it is important to ensure that they are properly trained on safety protocols, have access to emergency contacts, and are aware of the potential dangers of their work environment.

Additionally, providing lone working veterinarians with personal protective equipment, such as high-visibility clothing, can help improve their visibility and safety. It is also important to ensure that lone working veterinarians are regularly checking in with their managers before, during, and after their shifts, and that they have access to a dedicated emergency contact in the event of an emergency.

Finally, offering lone-working veterinarians access to mental health support and resources can help them to stay safe and healthy.

Lone working for farm vets

Farm vets are at particularly high risk when working alone. Firstly, they are more likely to be lone working due to the nature of their role. But they are also more likely to be travelling to an animal at their location, which increases the risk of driving concerns, isolation, poor communication and poor infrastructure.

Working alone as a farm vet can be a difficult and dangerous job, as you are often dealing with large animals in unfamiliar environments. To ensure your safety and the safety of the animals, it is important to take the correct precautions. Have a plan in place if something were to go wrong, such as a first-aid kit, a way to contact someone in case of an emergency, and a method of defending yourself if needed.

Additionally, be sure to take regular breaks to stay alert and refreshed, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. With the right preparation and mindset, you can work safely and confidently as a farm vet.

Lone-worker services from Kernow:

At Kernow vets messaging, we offer two main lone-worker services to help keep your vets safe. Our lone-worker protocols are designed to ensure that should the worst happen, we can get help to your vets as soon as possible and ensure their safety, regardless of location, time of day or the concern.

We have several different ways for you to monitor the whereabouts and well-being of your staff, including:

Call check-in service

In this option, your staff member checks in with us by calling at the start and the end of a job, trip, or shift. We then have escalation policies that will be followed accordingly if the check-in call is not received. The escalation process will depend on your specific requirements as a vet practice, but we are happy to offer advice and guidance when deciding on that process. For many clients, the process includes elements such as attempting to contact the lone worker, then informing a manager, and/or monitoring the location of the vet through tracking software in the vehicle.

Hourly check services

If safety is a regular concern, and your vets are working in a higher-risk setting, we have an hourly check-in service. Your staff member can call our dedicated line at pre-arranged times to check in. As mentioned above, we then have escalation policies to follow if check calls are missed.