• Call us on:01425 485615
  • Emergency:01425 485613

Pet Owners

Treating your pet as if it were our own

Why Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists?

In simple terms, because we care. The reason we are here is because your pet is the single most important thing to us. Our philosophy is to treat your pet in the same way that we would wish our own pets to be treated.

Your choice

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which is the governing body for the veterinary profession, advises that clients have the right to ask their vet for referral at any stage of treatment. They state that ideally your vet should refer to a centre that employs recognised specialists in the relevant field. If your vet has advised referral to a different referral centre and this either involves a long journey or would result in your pet being treated by a less experienced clinician with poorer facilities, ask them why they recommended the centre they did. In some cases this will be because the practice is a member of a corporate group and there is a financial vested interest in referring to a practice within the same group. If for whatever reason you would prefer your pet to be seen at Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists then ultimately you have the right to make that choice.

Our specialists

Our relationship with first opinion veterinary surgeons is similar to that of a consultant doctor's relationship to your general practitioner. We work with your veterinary surgeon to provide the very best care for your pet where there is a need for specialist knowledge, experience or equipment. Our clinicians undergo many years of training and take formal postgraduate qualifications to become recognised specialists in their fields. We have specialists in the disciplines of surgery (soft tissue, orthopaedics and neurosurgery), cardiology, diagnostic imaging, neurology, internal medicine and dermatology.

Advanced procedures

We have the most advanced facilities that you will not find in any first opinion practice including three state-of-the-art operating theatres, a CT scanner and an MRI scanner as well as a wide array of other diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. We regularly perform advanced procedures such as hip replacement, pacemaker implantation and spinal disc replacement. We also offer a unique surgical guarantee for some of our surgical procedures (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy - TPLO, and total hip replacement - THR) so that in the unlikely event that there is a postoperative complication we undertake to provide all treatment for the complication free of charge.

Our wards

If your pet needs to stay with us we have separate air conditioned dog and cat wards that are staffed around the clock by a dedicated team of qualified veterinary nurses and interns. Our interns are junior vets who have often been in practice for one to two years and are gaining further experience with a view to becoming specialists themselves at some time in the future. There is usually at least one intern and one nurse looking after your pet throughout the night and they are backed up by specialist clinicians who are on-call 24 hours a day.

Insurance claims and pricing policy

We understand that it is a stressful time for you when your pet is ill and we aim to make the referral process as smooth as possible. We do not normally ask for a deposit before proceeding with treatment and if your pet is insured we are happy to arrange for your insurance company to pay us directly so that all you need to pay us is the excess on your policy (if you have not already paid this to your veterinary surgeon).

We offer a fixed price for some procedures (TPLO's, spinal surgery and joint replacements) which include free follow up consultations and radiographs so that you are not exposed to any hidden charges. We are transparent with our prices (we were the first referral centre in the UK to publish a price list on our website) and will always strive to achieve the best possible treatment and outcome for the patient while not exceeding the client's ability to pay.

What is a Veterinary Specialist?

All veterinary surgeons undergo a broad based training in veterinary medicine and surgery for a minimum of 5 years before qualifying. Recognised specialist veterinary surgeons must undergo extensive additional training for a minimum of 4 years and pass rigorous Diploma examinations before they can become specialists. Veterinary specialists work in much the same way as specialists or consultants in human medicine and only accept cases that are referred to them by general practitioners. Unfortunately, in the UK the title of specialist is not protected and any veterinary surgeon can claim expertise in a particular field, advertise that they accept referrals and even call themselves a specialist.

In the UK the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), which is the governing body for the veterinary profession, has laid down strict criteria concerning training and experience required to gain "recognised" specialist status. Recognised specialists must have appropriate postgraduate qualifications and demonstrate that they are actively involved with their discipline and up to date with recent advances. RCVS specialist status must be re-accredited every 5 years and is not easily achieved. To view the veterinary qualifications needed to be included on the list of recognised specialists visit the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons website.

At SCVS, all our clinicians have undergone extensive postgraduate training and are either recognised RCVS/European/American specialists or are in the process of obtaining advanced qualifications that will lead to specialist status in the future. Recognised specialists have much greater knowledge, experience and expertise in their discipline than general practitioners, Certificate holders or advanced practitioners. In addition, clinicians working in referral centres have access to specialised diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and facilities that are not available in general practice. As one of the few truly multidisciplinary referral centres in the UK our patients benefit from the wide spectrum of expertise offered by our team of specialists in different disciplines all under one roof.

Links

www.rcvs.org.uk - This website provides information on specialist quaifications and how to find a specialists. This page also gives information on seeking a second opinion, or seeking a referral to a specialist.

www.ebvs.org - This website links to all the European Specialist Colleges and also list all the specialists in all the disciplines througout Europe. You can click on the links to the Specialist Colleges to find out more abouth what training European Specialists have to do to gain their diploma.

Booking an Appointment

We only see patients as referrals from their usual vets. Your first port of call should be your usual vet. They know your pet and will be able to advise whether our services are appropriate for the specific problem.

The referral process begins with your vet contacting us on your behalf by telephone, email or fax. They will provide us with your contact details and we will contact you as soon as possible to arrange a first consultation at your convenience – usually on the same day. Most of our vets conduct consultations in the mornings to allow the afternoons for procedures, but we will do our best to accommodate your individual needs.

Of course, emergency problems will be presented to us regularly, and we will always give these patients priority. The downside of this is that very occasionally we may need to re-schedule an appointment for a less urgent consultation or procedure. However, we will always try to do this with the minimum of disruption to you or your pet.

Once an appointment has been arranged our admin staff will send you an information pack which should answer any queries you may have. However, should you have any more concerns or questions please feel free to contact us. In the meantime your vet will send us details of any previous history, diagnostic tests and procedures or treatments relating to your pet’s condition.

We will also advise you about your insurance cover, which in our experience can be a real minefield!  We want you to be fully aware of the financial implications of any treatment your pet may receive before you commit yourself. This will usually involve you contacting your insurance company to give them permission to discuss your policy cover with us.

Payment Options

We have been treating pets for many years and we understand very well how important finances can become in making decisions for your pet. On the one hand, you want to do all you can for a “member of your family”, but you also have to keep the bank manager happy. We feel the important thing is that you have as much information as possible to allow you to make the best decision, and we will help you as much as we can with this.

Our practice only employs vets who are recognised specialists in their field, or those in their final stages of study for these qualifications. We have a very high nurse to patient ratio; and we have the best diagnostic equipment available; as well as qualified vets on site for 24 hours a day. This means that we will be near the top end of the price range for your pet’s treatment, and you may well be able to find vets who can do work for less cost, but they will not be able to provide the same infrastructure and support for you and your pet.

We recognise that it can be difficult for you to budget for treatment which may be necessary, with no prior warning.

Therefore, we will undertake to:

Provide you with an estimate of costs

As you can imagine, this can be very difficult to do accurately when we do not know what results we are going to get, and therefore what further tests or treatment may be necessary. Also, many of the pets we see are in a critical condition, and we do not know how much work is going to be needed to try to pull them through. We want you to have as much information as possible to help you with potentially difficult decisions about your pet’s treatment.

However, we will give you our best estimate of the costs to get to a certain point and will then discuss where we go from there with you in person or by phone. Our price guide can be downloaded from the right hand column, and this gives an indication of the range of prices for common procedures.

Please remember that these can only be estimates – they are not “quotes”. But be assured we will never do anything for your pet without consulting you, unless we feel that it is important that we do so in their interests.

Make direct insurance claims

We will agree to claim directly from your insurance company, so that you have to find as little cash as possible, and they pay us directly. To do this, we need you to help us by:

  1. Giving your insurance company permission to talk to us to verify your cover, and its extent.
  2. Providing us with signed claim forms as necessary (we will often make several claims during a course of treatment in order to help with our cashflow).
  3. Paying us any excess on your policy at the time of treatment of your pet. (We do not charge a fixed deposit or an admin fee, unlike many other referral practices).

Please note that the consent form that you sign when you leave your pet with us includes a paragraph which states that you agree to cover any unpaid fees if your insurance refuses to pay, for whatever reason. Therefore, it is in your interest to ensure you are happy that your pet’s treatment is covered by the policy (we will do all we can to help, of course).

Unfortunately, there are some insurance companies we can not offer direct claims with, please contact our admin department for more details.

Help with standard insurance claims

Many people prefer to deal with their insurance companies themselves (you pay us and then claim the money from the insurance company), or you may be with a company we do not do direct claims for. Our insurance claim team work full time on all claims and we will process any claim form within 5 working days of receipt. The admin team are a mine of information on all policies and will be happy to help you with any advice on claim completion.

Payments

We accept cash, cheques and credit cards for all the major types (we cannot take American Express). We can take credit card payments over the phone. We are also happy to accept BACS payments - please ask us for a reference so that we can identify your payment.

Payment Plans

We are unable to offer payment plans. However, we do have access to a third party interest-free loan company. They will check credit references and offer a loan via email. If you would like to investigate this option further, please let us know.

Download our Price Guide

Insurance

Pet insurance will usually cover the cost of treatments we provide, but some policies have limited cover and will not. You must check with your insurer to ensure that you have adequate cover. If you have any insurance claim queries, please call direct to the ‘claims administrators’ on 01425 485612.

There are two types of insurance claim.

Direct

The company pays us directly, less any amount which is not covered, e.g. insurance excess, or any amount over the ceiling of the policy. Some policy ceilings are per condition, some are per year and some are for the lifetime of your pet. You should ensure you know which applies to you.

Please note that:

  • We regret we cannot process direct claims for E&L (aka Petinsurance.co.uk or The Insurance Emporium), Healthy Pets, Buddies or Purely Pets. Payment will need to be made at the time of treatment and a standard claim followed.
  • BDML companies (e.g. Asda, LV, PetsAtHome) will not process our claims until they receive a claim form from the referring vet advising of the referral (even if there is no money to claim). Therefore, we ask clients to bring this with them at their initial consultation.
  • Tesco and More Than policies now require clients to use a “Preferred Referral Network” or they have to pay an enhanced excess. We are members of that network, so normal policy terms apply.
  • Animal Friends policies require the policy holder to attend the practice to sign their claim book. Unfortunately an agent cannot do this for them, and the book has to stay on our premsies so cannot be posted out.

Standard

You pay us the full amount owed at the time of discharge and then claim the money back from your insurance company, less any excess or policy ceiling. In these cases, we will process your claim within 5 working days of receiving the completed claim form.

Things for you to check before treatment commences (for direct and standard insurance claims)

  • Confirmation that your pet is still covered
  • Confirmation that the condition is (still) covered. Some policies will offer a maximum level of cover per condition; some will only pay 12 months from the first signs of the condition; some only pay a certain amount per 12 months.
  • Maximum cover, and how much of that has been “used up” by work done by the referring veterinary surgeon.
  • Confirmation of the excess required to be paid when a claim is made. This may be a fixed amount or a percentage. It may be applied once per condition or once per year.
  • Insurance companies tend to deal with serial claims in chronological order so should there be claims for work done by the referring veterinary surgeon prior to referral to SCVS, the claim for the previous work should be submitted as soon as possible to prevent delays on any subsequent claim.

Please remember that ultimately, the contract with the insurance company is with you, and if they refuse to pay for any reason, you will still be responsible for paying us. Therefore, we strongly advise that you contact your insurance company before treatment commences to verify the terms of your policy.

What we need

For direct claims

  1. Your permission to discuss your policy with your insurance company. This involves a quick phone call from you to them to give us permission. We are sure you will appreciate that we need to verify the terms of your policy before we agree to giving credit.
  2. We will need one or two (possibly more for long term treatments) completed claim forms, with your part completed and signed. You can get claim forms either from the insurance company direct or online. (We will usually make serial claims and will need several forms - to assist with our cashflow)
  3. You will need to leave us a deposit equal to your excess. This may be a fixed sum or a percentage (in which case we will make an estimate). Should you have overpaid, we will reimburse you the excess after we receive the insurance company payment. We do not charge a fixed deposit or an admin fee, unlike many other practices.

For standard claims

We need completed and signed claim forms from you, and we undertake to process them within 5 working days of receipt.

What to Expect

Before you arrive, please remember

  • Follow any instructions regarding starvation of food or water before your pet’s visit; and the giving of any medication.
  • Bring any paperwork, e.g. lab results, x-rays, that your vet may have given you.
  • If your pet is having occasional “funny” attacks, which they may not show when they come to us, a video of the episode on your phone/camera is really useful.
  • Please try to ensure your pet has evacuated his/her bowels before seeing us. We do have a small shingled area for this purpose next to our car park.
  • While we appreciate that your pet may have a “favourite” toy or blanket, please do not bring these for 1-2 day procedures. In order to maintain our strict hygiene levels, everything is washed several times a day, and on a busy day it can be very difficult to keep track of individual blankets in the washing. For longer stays, we recognize the value of having something “smelling of home”, so please discuss this with the ward nurses.
  • Bring your insurance claim form, already signed. We cannot be paid until we receive this and, similar to all small businesses, we have to ensure we keep our cashflow moving!

On arrival

Our receptionists will welcome you. There is complimentary tea and coffee available for you after your trip. Please allow yourself 10 minutes to register and relax!

The consultation

  • The first thing we do is to make sure we know all about your pet, his/her habits, normal activities, and also their problems. This may well repeat the information we have from your vet, but it is more helpful for us to hear your version, rather than relying on a printed summary. These details may be taken by the specialist or by one of their Interns. (The Interns are qualified vets studying with us to further their knowledge, and possibly become specialists in the future).
  • The specialist then will examine your pet, and discuss with you his/her findings, the options for further investigation or treatment, and the costs involved (taking into account any insurance policy you may have).
  • We may occasionally have to repeat previous tests performed by your vet. Your vet will often perform “screening” tests to look for problems, e.g. blood tests or x-rays. These may be relatively low cost to ensure they do not spend too much of your money on unnecessary tests. However, if they do highlight a problem, we may need to repeat them in more detail to explore the exact cause.
  • Should further investigations be needed, we will try to do these on the same day, so you may need to leave your pet and come back later in the day. Alternately, we may decide to investigate and, if appropriate, to keep your pet in for treatment  (surgery or medical) over the following days. In all cases, we will liase with you to ensure you are happy that the treatment options fit in with your circumstances.

Dropping off your pet for procedures

Some pets will have had previous investigations, and you will be dropping them off for surgery, or to have a specific procedure carried out. In these cases, a veterinary intern or a qualified nurse will admit your pet. You should let them know if there have been any changes since we last saw your pet.

Discharge

You will see either your specialist, a veterinary intern or a qualified veterinary nurse when your pet goes home. This will depend on your previous discussions with the specialist.

You will always receive direct feedback from the specialist involved with your pet before you collect him/her – either at discharge or by phone.

You may also be booked in to see one of our physiotherapists, should your pet need further physio treatment at home and/or with us.

You will also receive written instructions regarding our findings, details of medication, when to return for re-examination and any physiotherapy that may be needed. We will also arrange the recheck appointment if appropriate.

Your vet

We fax and/or email, as well as post, a written report to your vet the day following the discharge of your pet. We will often speak to them on the phone as well to ensure they are aware of treatment we have given.

Any questions afterwards

  • If your pet has come home following surgery or a procedure and you are worried about anything at all, please phone us on 01425 485615. You will initially reach one of our veterinary interns or nurses, who are at the practice 24 hours a day. They may not be familiar with your pet’s particular problem, but they will be happy to give general advice.
  • Should your pet’s problem be more serious, our specialists are on call, and our interns will be able to contact them and get them to call you back to discuss the problem. In some cases, we may see your pet here, or we may suggest you see your local vet who will be nearer.
  • Any questions regarding appointments, insurance claims or invoices should be directed to us from 9:00am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday.

Things to do in New Forest

Ringwood is a historic market town and civil parish in Hampshire, England, located on the River Avon, close to the New Forest and northeast of Bournemouth. It has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, and has held a weekly market since the Middle Ages.

Things to do in the area

New Forest

Visit Hampshire

Liberty's Centre

Moors Valley

The Furlong

Places to stay in the area

Little Forest Lodge - Situated in the New Forest National Park, Little Forest Lodge Guest House/Bed and Breakfast is a charming country residence set in 2 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland. On 2 acres in New Forest National Park, this relaxed, Edwardian-style bed-and-breakfast is 2.4 miles from central Ringwood and 6 miles from Moors Valley Golf Club. Down-to-earth rooms have TVs, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. There's 1 room with a terrace, while another offers a kitchenette and a garden. Parking is complimentary, and cooked breakfast is served in an oak-panelled dining room. The landscaped grounds feature a pond, and there’s a garden-view lounge with a bar and a fireplace.

Original White Hart - A warm welcome is waiting for you at The Original White Hart - a delightful old-world-style inn located in the centre of the market town of Ringwood. Our 15 en-suite bedrooms have been beautifully refurbished to create a modern hotel within. In the body of the pub you’ll find our cosy bar and restaurant, which offers an original menu of pub classics carefully reimagined for a contemporary audience. Our cask ales are well kept and served in addition to an extensive roster of draught products, wines, spirits, and soft options. Set in the town centre, this casual pub with rooms in a former 18th-century coaching inn is a 3-minute drive from the A31 and 11.7 miles from the beach at Bournemouth. The simple 15 guestrooms with en suite bathrooms have flat-screen TVs, free WiFi and bottled water, plus tea and coffee making equipment. Continental breakfast is complimentary and cooked breakfast is available (surcharge). The traditionally decorated pub serves British classics in a cosy bar area. A courtyard has outdoor seating and dining at casual tables. Off-street parking is free.

The Lamb Inn - The Lamb Inn has an excellent value bed and breakfast conveniently located in the historic market town of Ringwood. Rooms are bright and airy, kept to a high standard of cleanliness and offer excellent value. Occasionally we have entertainment on Saturday evenings, but this finishes on time to ensure noise does not disturb guests above the pub.

Places to eat in the area

The London Tavern - The London Tavern, Ringwood is a traditional English pub situated in the beautiful New Forest, just 4 minutes from the main A31 West Country link road. The Tavern is well known in the area for serving fine ales and serving traditional pub grub.

The Alice Lisle - Nestled at the heart of the New Forest, The Alice Lisle is a rural haven that boasts a truly gorgeous location with food to match. Inspired by our surroundings, our award-winning chefs produce locally-sourced dishes perfectly accompanied by our wide range of refreshments.

Practice information

Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists

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Emergency Details

Please call:

01425 485613
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Find us here:

Unit 6, Forest Corner Farm Hangersley Ringwood Hampshire BH24 3JW
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Please call this number for emergencies:

01425 485613