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FAQ’S

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“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.

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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.

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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 the Specialist fully about your pet’s condition whilst they carry out a very careful examination. They will then let you know what they think might be going on, and then look at the options with you for diagnosis and for possible treatment. They will also discuss the financial side of treatment at this stage, including any pet insurance, to make sure this is factored in.

 

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What happens when I leave my pet with you?…”

Once you have agreed a plan with the specialist 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. We 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 and/or nurse 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.

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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.

 

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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 the specialist 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.

 

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

No – The specialist 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.

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Payment, insurance claims, and “direct claims”

 

We will give you an estimated treatment cost range when you leave your pet with us, and you will be expected to pay all treatment costs 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 treatment costs directly from your insurance company (“Direct Claim”) then you will need to speak to your insurance company and give your permission for them to speak to us (Island Referrals inside Island VetCare) directly. You will need to let us know when you have done this, and give us the following information, so we can then check we can agree to  doing Direct Claim for your pet’s treatment. We will need:

  • Confirmation you have given your permission to your insurance company to speak to us directly
  • 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

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, and any “inner limits” on your policy (where certain treatments are restricted). You (or we) can also 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.

In some cases we may not be able to agree to doing a Direct Claim straight away, but might need to do a full “Pre-authorisation” check with your insurance company (which many companies offer). We tell them exactly what we plan to do to and for your pet, and they then tell us if this is covered by your policy or not. This takes about a week, and isn’t needed all the time, but is a reliable thing to do if there is any doubt.  

Please call 01983 214747 to discuss any pet insurance queries with the Island VetCare Insurance Team. In emergencies, we aim to assess suitability to Direct Claim at the first possible instance.

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“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.

 

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“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 us know directly by calling 01983 214747 or emailing admin@islandreferrals.co.uk  as soon as your concern arises.