Referral expectations

For new cases your clients will be seen by one of our Surgeons for a consultation lasting between 30-45 minutes. Following a detailed clinical examination we will discuss our initial findings and possible further diagnostics and treatment as considered appropriate. We will give an estimate of costs and likely duration of treatment.

The majority of cases will be admitted to the hospital for investigation and management. In some cases investigations may be performed on an out-patient basis and if consider necessary surgery arranged for another day once a diagnosis has been reached. Most cases, especially those referred for routine orthopaedic procedures will have surgery performed the same day and be discharged following a short period of hospitalisation. This usually involves an overnight stay for postoperative monitoring and appropriate analgesia. It is very helpful if clients are informed prior to referral that it is highly likely their pets will be hospitalised for a least one night.

We keep all clients informed daily of their pets' progress. Discharge for routine cases is generally carried out by a qualified nurse. For most other cases, provided collection is during normal working hours and we are not dealing with an emergency, we will personally discharge patients and discuss postoperative management with your clients. Written discharge instruction are given to all clients, outlining postoperative care, medication, exercise and anticipated follow-up appointments at your practice and with the Grove.

It is important to make clients aware of the likely costs relating to referral, even if they are insured, as it is important that consideration is given to how the costs of referral work undertaken will be met. In some circumstances, insurance policies do not cover the costs of all investigations or treatments and clients should read their policy information carefully for excluded conditions.

It is important that the client understands the need, on occasions, for repetition of diagnostic tests. This can often be perceived as needless and therefore generating unnecessary expense. However serial assessment of dynamic changes often provides invaluable information. Where radiographs of diagnostic quality and views are provided, and the underlying disease is not likely to have altered, these will not be repeated. However, if radiographic quality is not sufficient for diagnosis, or where a disease state may have altered, repetition of radiographs may be needed.