We work with your practice to support 50% of the OOH rota. Our ‘ON’ week starts on Monday at 5pm, though we offer to pick up emergencies that come in just before 5pm. We cover the nightshift until 8.30 each night and then cover a full weekend from Friday night to Monday morning. The following week is covered by your vets. We also cover 50% of bank holidays and rotate between covering Christmas and New Year on an annual basis. See below for our 2021 rota pattern.
Our vets are all employed solely by Equicall, so relieving the concerns about competition cross over. Our success has been in the way that we develop relationships with the practices we collaborate with. We do not see ourselves as a separate entity from the member practices, instead it’s about a continuity of care. Our team of experienced vets support each other geographically to provide a high level of care for your clients.
Why choose us?
There are 2 main reasons to use Equicall:
1. Improved mental health of current vets
There has been plenty of research linking long working hours to poor mental health. Equine vets work on average 50.5 hours a week with an extra 25.5 hours of on call thrown in on top (*2019 RCVS Survey). We strongly believe that practices will improve retention and recruitment of vets by reducing their OOH.
2. Financial benefits
OOH work is typically heavily subsidised by daytime work, yet practices are often staffed based on the numbers needed to achieve an appropriate rota OOH. As has been shown in small animal, allowing vets to concentrate on working up clinical cases during the day makes a practice more profitable. There are a number of other factors which affect OOH profitability and when we spent time looking at this with a number of practices, some of them were making a loss by providing OOH cover.
Misconceptions and common FAQ’s
But our vets enjoy going to emergencies, it’s the most interesting part of the job!
Large numbers of emergencies come in during practice opening hours and it’s during those times that team members feel more supported when attending difficult emergencies. Also we are only reducing OOH rota by 50%, so there is still some on call.
How do we know our clients will get the best service from you?
We performed a clinical audit in 2020 demonstrating that our average attendance time is 36 minutes (see separate infographic). Having carried out a client survey prior to set up, it showed that in an emergency, horse owners want someone there fast, who is experienced and will provide the best outcome for the horse. Cost and familiarity of vets come 4th and 5th on the list. As stated above, our close relationship with the member practices means that when we turn up to a new client, we can share a story about their usual vet which breaks the ice and puts the client at ease.
Clients don’t like change
We don’t go out branded, instead we deal with the client in the same way the member practice would have. We typically go on practice websites so that clients can see we are part of the team. We send our billing via the member practice so that they can re-invoice the client with their usual format.