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FAQs for Owners

Helping to explain what a referral involves

Our highly qualified referrals team are passionate about exceeding our clients’ expectations.

We’ve compiled a list of FAQs to help you understand what a referral involves.

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.


How is a referral arranged?

Your regular vet will arrange the referral. They will provide us with any relevant history via our online booking system.

Can I organise a referral myself?

No, but you can ask your vet to arrange the referral for you. We require a vet to request the referral because of the clinical information required.

How should I prepare my pet?

Your pet should not be offered food for at least 12 hours prior to your appointment; this is because your pet may require sedation or general anaesthetic. Most cardiology referrals do not require sedation or anaesthetic. Your pet should continue to have free access to water prior to your appointment. All medications should be given as routine.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring any medications your pet is receiving with you. Please remember any paperwork or results that your regular vet has provided to you. If your pet is insured, ideally, please send us a completed claim form before your consultation.

Can I just drop my pet off?

It’s important we meet you with your pet to discuss your concerns, review your pets medical history together and develop a plan for further management having examined your pet.

Do I get to talk to the vet?

We provide a consultation appointment with the referral vet that is looking after your pet. This will give you the opportunity to raise any concerns you have and ask any questions about the tests and treatments that your pet will be undergoing. You will also have a discharge appointment to go through the results, treatment options and discuss on-going care when you collect your pet.

Where will my pet stay/what if my pet is sick and needs to stay in hospital?

Your pet will stay in one of the dedicated cat or dog wards. Pets wards are comfy and spacious and your pet will receive lots of tender loving care from our lovely nurses. They will get fed after any anaesthetic or sedation, and get regular toilet breaks. If your pet needs to stay in overnight, or for longer, our dedicated emergency P.E.T.S. team are on-site 24/7 to look after your pet.

How will I receive updates on my pet's progress?

We keep you regularly informed of your pet’s plan and treatments if they stay in the hospital. This can be in the form of a phone call or sometimes a text message. If your pet is being treated as a day patient your update may be at the pre-arranged discharge time. Sometimes the vet may wish to speak to you prior to discharge, and will contact you by phone. We will always contact you if we have concerns about your pet’s condition.

Keeping your vet informed

We will write to your vet with a referral report summarising investigations, results and our recommendations.

When do I pay?

We will require a deposit when your pet is admitted, with the balance paid when you collect them.

Where are check-ups performed?

Your own vet will continue to provide your pet on-going care and medication. In some instances the referral vet may recommend a follow up appointment with us. We provide on-going advice for cases we have seen and if concerned can reassess cases for the same condition at the request of you or your vet.

What if my pet deteriorates while waiting for the referral appointment?

If you have any concern regarding your pet, particularly if they appear distressed, painful or have difficulty breathing, in the first instance please contact your own vet or their emergency provider. Your vet will communicate with us about the possibility of bringing forward your referral appointment. We will always endeavour to see urgent cases as soon as possible.

Can I claim on my insurance?

This will depend on your policy and any exclusions, for example pre-existing conditions. Where possible, we would advise you to have discussed the case with your insurance company prior to arranging a referral.

For non-urgent referrals you may be able to arrange a pre-authorisation claim whereby your insurance company agrees to cover any investigations before they are performed.

If your insurance company tries to limit your choice of referral centre we can still see you, although they may request an additional excess at their discretion. If your pet is unwell and unable to travel safely this can usually be negotiated without penalty.

Can my insurance company pay you directly?

In some circumstances it may be possible for your insurance company to settle the costs of referral with us directly. This is only possible for a limited number of insurance companies and is at our discretion.