Welcome to Island Referrals

Island Referrals CAN NOW OFFER MRI SCANS – We will be hosting a visiting articulated lorry every month run by Burgess Diagnostics.


MRI and CT are widely used in human and veterinary medicine and surgery, to help reach a diagnosis more easily than X-ray and ultrasound, by making a 3-D image of the body. MRI is safe and highly effective for all body parts, but is especially good at imaging the brain and spinal cord. Once diagnosis is made, treatment options can be discussed fully and a plan made.

The lorry is staffed by an experienced radiographer and each vehicle is also equipped with anaesthetic and monitoring equipment for us to ensure your pet is well looked after at all times. We will also make sure that any other samples needing to be taken at the same time as the scan are sent off to the lab for testing.

All the Island’s vet practices can refer patients to Island Referrals for MRI scan. With years of experience in developing mobile veterinary MRI scanning, Burgess Diagnostics’ highly-skilled team produce the images, and the RCVS-recognised Specialist vets at Island Referrals can use these to ensure your pet gets a diagnosis, with help from Burgess’s RCVS-recognised Specialist Diagnostic Imagers (vets) as needed.

Once all results are back, Burgess’s RCVS-recognised Veterinary Neurologists can also be called in to help ensure your vet has the most up-to-date information at their fingertips, giving them the answers they need to help advise you about treating your pet effectively, in a way you feel is appropriate. The RCVS-recognised Specialist Surgical Team at Island Referrals can operate on your pet if this is what is needed, and chosen by you.

Our NEW Specialist Referral Services

Island Referrals can now offer an Internal Medicine and Cardiology service, run by Kit Sturgess, a RCVS-recognised Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine. We have installed on-site CT scanning allowing 3D imaging whenever needed, and have access to visiting MRI scanning for specific elective cases. Ophthalmology cases are also seen regularly on-site by RCVS-recognised Specialist Rob Lowe. Specialist orthopaedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, onco-surgery, and neuro-surgery services continue as before, but we are also now able to treat more complex cases, including spinal surgery, with the addition of these extra services. Please call 01983 214747 or email admin@islandreferrals.co.uk with any enquiries or to refer a case.

Our Referral Services, during Covid-19

Since opening in February 2018, Island Referrals has helped hundreds of pets through injury or illness, and is carefully adding new services and capabilities. This means that the island’s vets and pet owners now have local access to a versatile, specialist, referral centre, able to provide the highest level of care for the majority of pet ailments. 

Covid-19 has impacted every person and business in the UK, and Island Referrals is no exception. The safety of the wider public, pet owners, and Island Referrals staff, are absolutely critical, and we are closely following all Government, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and British Veterinary Association, advice. Animal health and welfare are still critical to maintain and protect, and Island Referrals are able to provide full clinical services for ill or injured animals, and a full advice service for vets. We undertake a number of practical steps in order to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, such as having no-contact consultations and patient admission/discharge, and using careful social distancing policies in the work-place.

Our core specialist small animal surgical referral service is led by Ian Nicholson, and he has been joined by a visiting Internal Medicine Specialist, and a visiting Ophthalmological Specialist, and (on the day of lockdown) a new CT scanner, allowing a much broader and more holistic service to be offered, as below. We can now diagnose and treat the vast majority of canine and feline injuries and illnesses on-island, at the highest level, and offer a local, personal, service. Being close to home matters – it means less time travelling to and from the vets, less stress due to shorter hospitalisation times, visiting pets in hospital is straightforward, and (where needed in the event of ongoing illness or complications) readmission to hospital is quicker.