The Referral Process
What is a Referral hospital?
Eastcott Veterinary Referrals is a hospital for small animals, which is able to treat animals with more serious illness or and injuries. We’re a referral centre, which means that serious cases are referred to us by other vets.
It’s very similar to the way the National Health Service operates. If you have a problem, you visit your local GP surgery. If they can’t deal with the issue your GP will send you to see a consultant or specialist in a particular field of medicine. These are acknowledged experts in their field capable of using their skills, knowledge and equipment to deliver a detailed diagnosis of your problem and then offer the best course of treatment. It’s exactly the same in our profession. Like GPs primary care vets can deal with a variety of everyday problems. However, in more serious cases they will send your pet to us for specialist care and admission to our state-of-the-art hospital.
Arranging a referral
If your pet needs to be referred, this should be discussed with your primary care vet. They will then contact us on your behalf, and once we have received the referral, we will call you to arrange an appointment. If your pet needs to be seen urgently, your vet will need to telephone us in order to arrange the appointment for you.
Your vet may wish to discuss your pet’s case with us by telephone before making a decision. Often, we will receive any X-rays, scan results and lab reports to assist us in making a diagnosis.
What you need to bring with you?
Your vet should supply us with a letter of referral giving details of your pet’s relevant history and a brief summary of the problem. They may ask you to bring this with you, or they can e-mail or post this to us in advance of the appointment. It is best that you check with your vet regarding the arrangements that have been made. In the case of emergencies your vet may send X-rays and other items with you to pass on to us upon arrival.
It is a good idea to have made some brief notes about your pet’s history e.g. dates of events and any signs of problems which you may have noticed, as our specialists will ask you questions about this during the consultation. It is also worth making a list of your own queries or concerns which you can check at the end of your consultation to make sure that we have addressed them all for you and the vet will be more than happy to discuss these with you.
You should bring any relevant insurance documentation, including a blank claim form. You will also need to bring a means of payment.
Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to enable your pet to be registered before seeing the veterinary surgeon. Our Client Care team and veterinary nurses will be pleased to give you any help that you or your pet need on your arrival.
If you are at all unsure about what to do regarding your pet’s referral then please do not hesitate to speak with the practice team who will be happy to help.
A list of Frequently Asked Question are available here