How to arrange a referral to Oakham
We gratefully receive all types of referrals; which are usually referred by your regular veterinary surgeon. To enable us to evaluate the horse to the best of our ability we will require a detailed case history from your usual vet.
Once your vet has assessed your horse and made the decision to refer, they will contact us to discuss your horse’s case. They are able to email us history and results if required. Please then contact us to arrange an appointment.
Non-emergency referral cases will be booked for a consultation with one of our vets. Preliminary investigations and treatments are normally carried out in the presence of the owner/trainer/rider to enable choices to be made about treatment options and costs to be explained.
However if it is a complex case, we may request the horse be admitted for a period of time to allow a full assessment. You will be advised at the time of booking whether this is likely to be the case.
For urgent referrals your vet will need to telephone us to arrange an appointment for you as soon as possible. For emergency cases that are referred outside office hours the on call team will be informed of your arrival, and will be waiting to admit you without the need to enter reception.
What to expect on the day
On arrival please pull up to the gates of the equine car park and go to reception at the gate to inform the reception team of your arrival. The gate will be opened to allow you to park and you will be greeted by one of our nursing team.
It is our policy to organise the hospital schedule such that potential surgery cases (as identified by the referring vet) can have theatre time ‘reserved' for the following day. This avoids clients having to make any extra journeys and ensures that the treatment proceeds as quickly and effectively as possible. If your horse has been referred for surgery it should, where possible, have had its shoes removed and been off work and copious amounts of competition food for 2-5 days.
If you know that your horse will be admitted as an in-patient, either for surgery or for imaging such as scintigraphy, we would ask that you bring any items that your horse will require during its stay. This includes rugs, tack (for lameness assessments) and any specific feed requirements. All horses are stabled on a cardboard, dust free bedding - if this is not acceptable please inform us prior to your appointment and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.
During its stay your horse will be under the primary care of the assigned case vet. You will be updated daily on the progress of the examination and when a diagnosis has been made; you will be informed of the management and treatment your horse requires.
Upon completion of the examination and any treatment at the hospital, your horse can be collected between 8am and 6pm, weekdays and between 9am and 3pm at weekends. If you cannot organise collection between these hours, special arrangements can be made, however you will be charged an out-of-hours discharge fee. At the time of collection you will receive full discharge instructions and any medication that has been prescribed.
We do allow clients to visit their horses when in the hospital. Clients MUST report to reception on arrival. Visiting is restricted to office hours during the week and at specific times at the weekend.
Regular telephone reports on the progress of your horse will be provided by one of our team. You will receive a daily telephone call from one of our nursing team for general progress reports. The case vet will phone you separately to give more detailed information and to discuss treatment options. The frequency of this will depend on the specific case.
For surgical cases we endeavour to contact all clients by telephone as soon as their horse has recovered from anaesthesia to advise on the progress of their condition.
In addition a detailed written report of our findings will be prepared for you and for your referring vet. If appropriate the referring vet will also receive copies of radiographs, MRI images or bone scans. If requested a report will also be forwarded to your insurer.
Payment & Insurance
If the patient is insured for either mortality, loss of use or veterinary fee's, it is absolutely essential that the owner inform their insurance company that the horse is being referred. Our policy on referral cases is to bill the client directly; however for new clients and for uninsured horses, we request credit card details as security for payment. We encourage payment at the time of treatment or collection of the horse. For specific payment terms contact our reception team.