Referral Procedure and case advice

We are readily available for advice, to give quotes, to take referrals, or to arrange to come and do selected surgeries at your practice.

We can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

We can be contacted by:

  • Lichfield Surgery: 01543 414248 in office hours or 0794 4105501 (manned 24/7; please leave a text or voice message if needs be, and expect a return call within minutes)
  • London Surgery: 01543 414248 in office hours or 0794 4105501 (manned 24/7; please leave a text or voice message if needs be, and expect a return call within minutes)
  • by email on westmidlandsreferrals@gmail.com     Please send images as JPEGs

If you need really urgent advice, please make this clear when you contact us. For urgent cases like fractures and neurological cases, especially out of hours, we strongly advise that you ring on 07944 105501 (manned 24/7) as well as emailing any images etc.

We are friendly and easy going, and there is no need to waste your valuable time on long-winded formal letters.

For cases that are coming to us, we do need the full case notes with the client’s full name and address, contact phone numbers, as well as any relevant lab results and radiographs and it is helpful if you can send these all together.

Please use a separate email thread for different cases.

Please ensure you have the client’s consent to send their data to us under GDPR regulations.

It is very useful if you can advise us of any cost issues at a very early stage so that we can strive to find affordable options for the owner.

We are happy to do the leg-work of ringing the client, booking an appointment, ensuring food is with-held, helping with directions and answering any questions the owner may have in advance of coming to us. Please make sure that the client’s phone number is on the clinical notes – it frequently doesn’t get included! If not, please include the client’s phone number in the body of the email.

You may find it useful to direct your client to our web site. In the section for owners they will find a section called “fact sheets”. The top one is called “Joining instructions” and gives comprehensive information including directions and instructions for patient preparation.

If you send radiographs, we prefer getting them as JPEGs because Dicom files can sometimes be a pain to open. If you post analogue radiographs to us, and want them sending back, please remember to include the return postage!!

We send a full report on the day of procedures, typically by email, but by fax or post if you request this. We send further prompt reports each time we see the patient for check ups. Detailed aftercare plans are available on this website in the fact sheet section within the sections for owners and vets.

We are very flexible, and aftercare can be either with the referring practice or with ourselves. Where aftercare is carried out at the referring practice we can use modern technology to assist with advice from a distance.

 

Advice on cases given by WMRs from a distance:

We are pleased to offer prompt and free advice on radiographs and case histories, communicating by email or phone as you prefer. Our aim is to reply to routine emails within 24 hours, but we usually reply within a matter of hours.

 

Please note the limits of responsibility for advice given to general practice colleagues by the staff of West Midlands Referrals for cases that are not actually under the care of West Midlands Referrals:

At West Midlands Referrals we encourage colleagues in general practice to try new surgeries and new procedures (eg chemotherapy) where this is appropriate and within the realms of their experience, equipment and capabilities.

We developed many of our own skills by being prepared to try new techniques, and we often find ourselves looking back nostalgically to the 90’s, which was something of a “Golden Age” of small animal practice where most vets could and would make a fair fist of many procedures that now get referred. We enjoy speaking to colleagues and advising on the management of cases; we enjoy providing CPD sessions and we enjoy hosting colleagues at Lichfield to scrub in and learn new procedures. We aren’t in any way protectionist …

BUT … (there’s always a “but”!)…

Please remember that while our advice is always given in good faith and given with the very best of intentions, we can’t take ultimate responsibility for the consequences of following this advice if the case is not actually referred to us. The final responsibility for accepting the appropriateness of any plan we suggest, and for the technical implementation of that plan, rests with the person who is actually treating the case and/or wielding the scalpel!

If you aren’t sure you can manage the case, consider referring it, or perhaps bringing it to us at Lichfield yourself as a “reverse mobile case”, where you can be involved with the case in a hands-on way, but with the back up of more experienced colleagues on hand. Such reverse mobile cases are charged to your practice as if we’d come to your practice and done the surgery there, and you can put an appropriate mark-up on the case before billing your client. You can also chalk up this time as CPD hours!