Emergency 24 Hour Care

Have a pet emergency? Find our Burch Tree Vets emergency information here.

When we are OPEN - If your pet has an emergency during our normal opening hours, please call the practice and we will advise you what to do next.

When we are CLOSED - Should your pet have an accident or fall ill outside of our opening hours, including weekends and  Bank Holidays, please call our usual number, listen to the recorded message and wait to be connected to arrange emergency vet care.

In Spring 2024 we are going through a period of transition where our emergency cover is moving from an on-call basis to a dedicated out of hours provider called Vets Now. During this transition period and beyond, there will be a dedicated vet and vet nurse available in Kendal to help you and your pet in an emergency outside of our usual working hours. Incoming calls to our usual numbers 01524 720002 (Carnforth) will divert to the vet and nurse working at that time so that you can reach help in an emergency.

For routine cases such as vaccinations and repeat prescriptions, please call us as you would normally, during our daytime opening hours.

  • Are Vets Now fees covered by my pet insurance?
  • Why have we chosen to partner with Vets Now?
  • Where to find this
  • What does it cost to be seen by Vets Now?
  • What happens when Vets Now close in the morning and my pet needs further treatment?

Are Vets Now fees covered by my pet insurance?

The Vets Now fee should be covered in the same way as any other veterinary fees. However, please check the details of your policy with your provider as this may differ depending on your cover.

Vets Now do apply an administration charge to all insurance claims processed by the clinics they will discuss this with you at the time. The fee is charged on all insurance claims both standard and direct. This fee covers the vets time collecting clinical notes, printing invoices, processing and posting insurance claims, plus any related queries once submitted.

Why have we chosen to partner with Vets Now?

We are committed to providing for the wellbeing of your pets 24 hours a day, and with this in mind we have partnered with Vets Now. They provide the equivalent of an accident and emergency service and their Vets and Registered Vet Nurses are trained in emergency medicine and surgery. 

First established in 2001, Vets Now are a leading provider of emergency and out of hours care throughout the UK. Westmorland Vets are classed as a host practice for this service, which means that Vets Now use their Natland Road, Kendal facilities to provide their emergency care to the vet practices in the local area. As such, our clients don’t have to travel far to a new facility for an out of hours service.

A Vets Now vet and nurse start work as we close and then cover until we are back in work the following weekday morning at 8.30am. Because they don’t work during the weekday, they’ll be up and ready to see your pet at the time you need them, while our team rest. This is different to an on-call emergency service whereby the vet and nurse have worked the day before a night on call, and will most likely also work the following day, creating a 34-hour shift or 58 hours at weekends. 

As you could imagine, working such long shifts, on top of a normal working week, is no longer thought to be best for your pet’s welfare or to be acceptable for those working.  As such, on call duties also negatively impact our ability to recruit vets and nurses, having knock-on effects to the daytime cover available. 

We believe our partnership with Vets Now offers you and your pet the very best level of care, day and night.

Where to find this

Vets Now Kendal

Riverside Business Park
Natland Road

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What does it cost to be seen by Vets Now?

All telephone advice provided by the Vets Now team is FREE. If they recommend that your pet is seen by the Vets Now team, a fee will apply for the consultation, as well as any medical or surgical treatment. This will be discussed with you at the time. Vets Now fees are not the same as ours, and their fees reflect staffing the clinic with the full team of vets/nurses and support staff who are all highly skilled and trained to provide emergency and critical care out of hours.

Please see this article to learn more about how much it costs to run an emergency service

What happens when Vets Now close in the morning and my pet needs further treatment?

Prior to Vets Now closing, the team will perform a clinical handover with one of our vets. This will include a discussion of all tests performed and medication given during the night. This will allow the Burch Tree Vets team to continue your pet’s treatment. Once this handover has been completed Vets Now will no longer be in charge of your pet’s treatment for the day.

You will need to transport your pet to us by appointment between 8 – 8:30am on weekday mornings for daytime care. One of our vets will speak with you to formulate a plan of how we intend to continue your pet’s treatment.  On certain occasions, they may stay as inpatients under the care of Westmorland Vets but you will be informed of this.