Your pet has been referred to us at Veterinary Specialist Scotland for specialist investigation and/or treatment of a specific condition. Please note that ongoing care remains with your referring veterinary surgeon. We will inform your veterinary surgeon of the outcome of your pet’s attendance at the hospital in Livingston and will advise them of ongoing care and support needs of your pet.
Our normal opening hours are 8.30 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday and 8.30 am to 12 noon on Saturday.
Emergency appointments in Livingston are available 24/7 and will be charged at emergency rates.
A veterinary surgeon and veterinary nurse will be in the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Out of hours, Specialists are available at short notice.
During the initial consultation, we will give you an estimate of the likely costs of investigation and/or treatment for your pet. Please note that estimates provide an indication of approximate costs and, although we do our best to keep you informed of any major additional charges incurred during investigation/treatment, the final costs of treatment can exceed our initial estimate if your pet’s condition proves to be more complex than initially anticipated. We aim to discuss any additional charges prior to undertaking the treatment unless it is vital for your pet’s welfare that this is performed without delay. Revisit examinations may be recommended if Specialist expertise is required to ensure optimal aftercare. Fees incurred during re-examinations, along with further investigations and, if necessary, further treatment, will be charged in addition to the original estimate. All fees are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate. Prices are available on request.
Owners With Pet Insurance
We will assist in the completion of pet insurance claim forms if requested. However it is your responsibility to check that your pet is covered for the treatment provided. For reasons of client data confidentiality we are not allowed to do this on your behalf. It is your responsibility to understand the details of your policy; not all companies provide the same level of cover for the same period of time and you will be responsible for any shortfall in the insurance payment.
In the event that your insurance company declines to settle your claim, or any part of it for any reason, you will be liable for the full costs of treatment.
An insurance claim form is required for each visit. We will complete the appropriate section of the claim form and forward it directly to your insurance company.
We are happy to help with the pre-authorisation process for those clients with insurance policies where this is an option, and no additional fee is charged for this. Clients should contact us well in advance of their appointment if a pre-authorisation is required as some insurance companies can take up to 7 days to grant a pre-authorisation.
We will require a 50 % deposit for all insured cases admitted to the hospital, unless you have an approved pre-authorisation or have used our direct insurance claim process. The final payment is due at the time of patient collection.
Direct Insurance Claims / Pre-authorised Claims
Owners are usually required to settle the fees for their pet’s treatment directly with us. However, depending upon the insurance company, we may be able to arrange direct payment of insurance claims.
For direct claims or for those with approved pre-authorisation, we will request a deposit of £250, as long at this covers your policy excess. This deposit may need to be increased if your policy has a percentage excess, or if your estimate for treatment is larger than your policy limit.
Owners Without Pet insurance/Non-Direct Insurance Claims
50 % of the higher estimated costs will be payable prior to admission and final payment will become due at the time of collection of your pet. Cash, debit and most major credit cards are accepted; unfortunately we cannot accept payment by cheque or American Express.
If your outstanding account reaches £5000 and your pet is remaining in the hospital, we would kindly ask that you make an interim payment to clear the account. If your pet goes home at the weekend, we cannot always guarantee all items will have been invoiced and so there may be additional items invoiced after your pet has gone home.
We will contact you to settle any outstanding balances. Where due notice has been provided to you, overdue accounts will be referred to our Head Office and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt (including but not limited to reasonable legal fees).
Where there is an overdue account but an owner requires further services, we may require that the outstanding account be settled in full prior to the appointment. If a pet is presented for treatment while an account is outstanding, we may determine that only emergency care can be provided until the account is settled.
In accordance with our strict infection control and biosecurity policy you will not normally be allowed to leave personal items with your pet. We take great care of all our hospitalised patients and we have a range of options to maintain their comfort. Personal items may be left at our discretion in exceptional circumstances but will be subject to our infection control guidelines and we cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that results.
Photographs of your pet may on occasion be used anonymously for educational or publicity purposes.
Ownership of Records
Case records and similar documents are the property of, and retained by Veterinary Specialists Scotland. Copies, with a summary of the clinical history can be passed to another veterinary surgeon on request. It may be necessary during the course of investigations to take radiographs or scans. Ownership of these images remains with Veterinary Specialists Scotland.
Ownership of Samples and Images and Use of Records
Diagnostic samples (e.g. fluid or tissue samples) and surgically resected tissue and/or samples collected from your animal during a clinically indicated intervention (e.g. catheter placement) will become the property of Veterinary Specialists Scotland. Diagnostic samples/tissue and case records may be shared with third parties, and used for educational or research purposes by Veterinary Specialists Scotland.
Prescriptions for Medications
Veterinary surgeons may only prescribe prescription only medicines, category V (POM-V) for animals under their care. For animals with an on-going disease condition we class ‘under their care’ as having been seen within the last three months.
We will normally dispense short courses of medication that your pet will require on discharge. You are entitled to ask for a prescription for any medications that we recommend for your pet and a fee is charged for prescription writing. Please note we cannot take responsibility for medications purchased elsewhere.
Any unused medicines and medicine containers which we have supplied may be returned to us for safe disposal at no extra charge. We regret we are unable to offer a refund on any unused medicines. Where you give us any medicines or medicine containers which have been supplied to you by another veterinary practice, we shall charge you a fee for its safe disposal.
Please note that our calls both incoming and outgoing are recorded for training and monitoring purposes.