Out of Hours Emergencies

Out of hours care provision for your pet

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In an emergency at night, or over the weekend, when the Windmill Veterinary Centre is closed, we offer our clients a choice as to the out-of-hours care provider for your pet.

If your pet has been an inpatient with us and requires further monitoring, tests or any treatment overnight, they will usually be transferred to an out-of-hours clinic for that care and our staff will discuss with you, your preferred provider.  Experienced overnight staff, available throughout the night, will ensure your pet receives a high standard of care and any changes in the clinical condition will be recognised and dealt with promptly.  This transfer may be undertaken by the owner, as for many owners, this gives them the chance to see their pet and be reassured by meeting the overnight staff, or by ourselves.  (A charge will be made for this transfer).  In the morning, your pet will be collected from the clinic, again, by the owner or ourselves and transferred back into our care.

We will be in close contact with the clinics regarding ongoing cases, where owners may be worried about their pet so that they have the relevant histories. Alternatively, we may give you a copy of your pet’s clinical notes, in case an out-of-hours consultation might be appropriate.

Located in Milton Keynes – Vets NowVets Now provide ‘Emergency and Out of Hours’ cover to veterinary practices all over the country. Our nearest Vets Now clinic is:  c/o Milton Keynes Veterinary Group, Fyfield Barrow, Milton Keynes, Bucks. MK7 7AN.

Vets Now contact number is:   01908 509500

For use between 7pm and 8am weekdays and between 12 noon Saturday and 8am Monday.


Located in Aylesbury – Hampden Veterinary HospitalHampden Veterinary Hospital now provide out of hours and emergency care for other local practices and are able to offer daytime emergency appointments to our clients from 12 noon to 5pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.  During these appointment times, clients will not be charged an additional out-of-hours rate.    Outside of these hours, costs will be similar to those at Vets Now. 

Hampden Veterinary Hospital contact number is:  01296 423666

Address:  Hampden Veterinary Hospital, Anchor Lane, Aylesbury, Bucks. HP20 1AJ

Common Questions & Answers

The use of a dedicated Out of Hours service has become the standard in general (human) practice and many veterinary practices have to make similar decisions to The Windmill Veterinary Centre, in order to comply with UK Government and rules & regulations on the “Working Time Directive”.

Just as you would attend the A & E department in an Out Of Hours emergency, your pet can now do the same. Staff work specifically in emergency and critical care veterinary medicine and receive regular training to ensure they remain up-to-date with the most recent advances.  They offer free telephone advice, so if in doubt about the health of your pet out-of-hours, just phone!

Do other practices offer the same level of care during the day as at night?

No!  They would not be able to do this unless they have RCVS hospital status or a team solely working at night.  Most vets and nurses attend the surgery, assess and treat/operate on your pet and then go home.  Emergency providers have staff on site who can continuously monitor your pet’s health through the night.

What happens if my pet is injured or becomes unwell outside normal working hours?

If your pet needs veterinary attention outside normal working hours, you will still want to receive the same professional and prompt attention that you get from your vet during the day. However, even the best vet in the world cannot be personally available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Nevertheless, their top priority remains to ensure that your pet’s welfare is safeguarded no matter what the time of day or night.

In order to provide you and your pet with high quality veterinary care at night and whilst we are closed, we have arranged for care to be provided at either Vets Now, Milton Keynes or Hampden Veterinary Hospital, Aylesbury.

Is this similar to the system my own doctor uses?

Yes. Doctors, like vets, know how important it is to provide good quality care 24 hours a day and therefore most GP’s also use specialised emergency clinics to care for their patients out of hours.

Can I telephone just for advice?

Of course!  Staff are able to give advice over the phone and will tell you if they think it is safe for you to wait until we open or that your pet should be seen.

Isn’t it better to see my usual vet?

Emergency veterinary procedures have become more and more specialised over recent years. In an emergency situation, it is therefore often preferable for your pet to be treated by vets and nurses who work entirely in this area.

Your normal vet has to work all day during the week making it impractical also to work every night.  Many staff at our out-of-hours providers only work out of hours, thus ensuring that they are fresh to deal with emergencies.

If possible take along any medications that your pet is receiving when you visit an out-of-hours clinic.

Do I have to pay for the service?

Yes.  Cost for overnight care at the out-of-hours clinic is the responsibility of the pet owner.  Estimates of likely costs can be requested.  If your pet is insured then this should cover the costs of any emergency treatment.

Please be aware that because of the nature of Out of Hours emergencies, an appointment will be more expensive than seeing us during our normal working hours.  The out of hours fee at Vets Now is £231.75 and a consultation fee of £77.25.   A lower cost option is Video Vets Now, available for clients at £24 per video consult.  Vets Now will discuss costings with you at the time of your appointment and before commencing any treatment.  (Rates are subject to change).

Please do not hesitate to ask us for more details.