As Christmas approaches rapidly, many people look forward to an extended period of time off work and the opportunity to spend time at home and with family.

For the Vets and Nurses at Donaldson’s Vets, time at home will be punctured with work commitments as we continue the 24 hour, 365 day a year service.

While many veterinary practices shut their doors over the festive period and farm out their emergency work to emergency services who might be based many miles away, we continue to provide around the clock cover at the Maple Street Surgery in Aspley.

Lisa, the practice manager has the unenviable task of working out the on-call rota to ensure that care for inpatients and sick pets, horses and farm animals is uninterrupted over the Christmas Period but also allows us to all have some time at home with our families.

The Nurses work on a shift system with day staff and night staff in the surgery round the clock to ensure that inpatients are constantly monitored.

The Vets generally work a 24 hour shift over the Christmas period covering large and small animal work. The workload can be quite variable but since there are 16 vets and 4 surgeries within the group, the on-call vet can be kept very busy. Usually there is enough time to dash home for a quick bite of Turkey between calls.

The last Christmas Day I worked, I spent the morning injecting a batch of wild cattle with pneumonia, the afternoon stitching up a dog which had been in a fight and the evening calving a cow in the dark in a field above Meltham.

So, as you sit down to your Christmas Dinner, spare a thought for our Vet Lauren and our Nurse Emma who may be somewhere less warm and comfortable.