Pet Owners

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking at the options for diagnosing and treating your ill or injured pet. Your vet may have referred you here already, or recommended you consider referral, or you may be looking at this option yourself, to try to improve the chances by speaking to an expert. Ultimately it is your choice as to whether to seek referral and your decision as to where you wish to go, and your vet will respect your choice and make all the necessary arrangements.

We understand that having an ill or injured pet can be stressful, and we work hard to provide as much reassurance and certainty as we can, as soon as we can. We will book your first consultation at the earliest date possible, and your vet will forward your pet’s medical history, blood results, lab results, and X-rays, to us here, so that we can assess these before you arrive.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What do I do about fasting my pet before the consultation?

Please make sure your pet is fasted on the morning of the consultation – you can give supper the night before, and water all night, but no food after midnight and none in the morning.

My pet is on medications and/or a special diet – what do I do about that?

If your pet has any special diet requirements and might stay in overnight, please bring some of the right food to leave with us.

Medications can continue until the night before, but in general don’t worry about giving them on the day of the consultation – but please ask your vet about this, or call us to discuss, if you have any worries.

What happens in my consultation?

By being referred to Island Referrals, all you are committing to is the consultation itself – nothing else. This will last 30-40 minutes, and you’ll be able to talk to Ian fully about your pet’s condition whilst he carries out a very careful examination. He will let you know what he thinks might be going on, and then look at the options with you for diagnosis and for possible treatment. He will also discuss the financial side of treatment at this stage, including any pet insurance, to make sure this is factored in.

What happens when I leave my pet with you?

Once you have agreed a plan with Ian you may choose to leave your pet with us for a few hours, the rest of the day, or overnight, so we can take some tests, or do a surgical procedure, or both. We might also wish to consult with some other specialist vets, with expertise in different areas, about your pet, to make sure we give you the best possible advice. You will need to sign a consent form, giving us permission to proceed.

We will let you know when to expect a call, and when to call us if you’ve not heard from us – sometimes we can’t get hold of you when we try. We’ll also try to give you an early idea of when you’ll be able to collect your pet. Ian and the team will keep you updated about any progress, and will speak to you at least twice daily, to keep you up to speed. There will always be a vet on site whilst your pet is hospitalised with us as part of their planned investigation or treatment, and our experienced nursing team will make sure your pet is as happy and comfortable as possible whilst under our care.

What happens if the plan changes?

Most of the time things run according to the agreed plan, but from time to time surprises crop up. If anything happens that means we need to change the plan, we’ll call you to discuss our new recommendations and get your permission to proceed – unless it’s an emergency, in which case we’ll act fast to stabilise the situation, and call you as soon as we can.

When do I come to collect my pet?

Once everything has been done, we’ll call you to arrange a convenient time for you to come to collect your pet and go through the aftercare plan, and the next steps, with Ian and the team. As well as talking this through, you will receive a Discharge Instruction sheet, which is a printed summary of what has happened, including the full aftercare plan.

Do I need to tell my vet about what has happened?

No – Ian will write to your vet to bring them up to speed with what has been discussed and done, and the plan. You may need to arrange to go and see your vet for follow-up checks, but we will tell you what to arrange and when, usually on the Discharge Instruction Sheet.

Payment, insurance claims, and “direct claims”

We will give you an estimated treatment cost range when you leave your pet with us, and normally you will be expected to pay this in full when you collect your pet in order to go home. In some circumstances you will be asked to pay part of the costs in advance. If you have pet insurance and you wish for us to claim the treatment costs directly from your insurance company (“Direct Claim”) then your insurance claim needs to be assessed and authorised (“Pre-Authorisation”) in advance of your appointment – please call 01983 214744 to discuss this with the Referrals Team. In emergencies, we aim to assess suitability to Direct Claim at the first possible instance.

Direct claims

Please contact the Island Referrals Team in advance of your appointment, on 01983 214744. You will need to have to hand:
• Your policy details – insurance company, policy number, and the date on which your policy was first taken out
• The name in which the policy is held and any passwords if applicable
• Details of any other vets your pet has visited from first vaccination to date

Please contact your insurance company and give them authority to discuss your policy with Island Referrals (inside Island VetCare). This is to enable us to check the suitability and eligibility for Direct Claim. We will confirm the amount of cover you have per condition or per year, any known exclusions, your excess, any percentage contributions you need to make, any “inner limits” on your policy where certain treatments are restricted, and also we will check with your vet how much you have spent with them for the current condition, so you know exactly where you’re at before you choose how to proceed. We have many years’ experience dealing with insurance companies and will support you through this process.

I am insured with Tesco Bank, MORE TH>N, John Lewis or Argos (RSA Group) – can I come to Island Referrals, and do I have to pay more?

Yes you can come, and no you do not need to pay any extra charges. RSA Group (which underwrites policies from Tesco Bank, MORE TH>N, John Lewis, and Argos), have agreed that even though Island Referrals has chosen not to sign up to RSA’s network, you can come to Island Referrals at no extra cost, because all the RSA-approved centres are too far away. If you speak to anyone from your insurance company who tells you otherwise please let us know immediately – as this is wrong, and we will follow this up urgently on your behalf.

What if I’m not happy with the way my pet has been treated?

Providing veterinary care is a complex process, and it needs a lot of communication to get the right result every time. We are confident in our abilities and our service, but, if you’re not happy about any part of the process please let Ian know directly by calling 01983 214744 or emailing admin@islandreferrals.co.uk , as soon as your concerns arise. Alternatively, you can speak to Matthew Twitchett (Director, Island VetCare) by calling 01983 214747 or emailing matthew@islandvetcare.co.uk.