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Small Animal Referral Hospital Choosing a Referral Centre


How to choose a referral centre

Choosing a referral centre that is right for you and your clients can be a challenge particularly with new referral centres opening or local primary care practices offering additional enhanced procedures. We have produced a guide which might help you when deciding whether Langford Vets is the right place for your referrals.

What is a veterinary specialist?

The term Veterinary Specialist is a protected title in the UK which requires individuals to be an RCVS Recognised Specialist to use the term. Many attain this by achieving a European or American Diploma in their field of expertise. Diplomate status requires at least 4-5 years of training and study in the area followed by rigorous examinations overseen by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation. To maintain Specialist status individuals must demonstrate ongoing commitment to learning and the profession through recertification every five years. More information can be found here: Specialist status - Professionals (

What types of condition should be referred?

There are many reasons you may choose to refer such as for advanced diagnostic procedures, techniques or treatment. This could include MRI, endoscopy, a technically demanding surgery such as a total hip replacement, chemotherapy, critical illness requiring 24/7 intensive care or advanced anaesthesia. It may also be that you simply desire for a Specialist to review the case and support you alongside the owner with the decision making and options.

Should I choose a teaching hospital?

Teaching hospitals are premier sites for surgical and medical procedures due to their unique blend of expertise, innovation, and comprehensive care. With experienced clinicians at the helm patients benefit from the latest advancements in techniques and technologies. Teaching hospitals like Langford Vets foster environments of continuous learning and skill refinement, ensuring that patients receive excellent care backed by cutting-edge research.

The presence of residents and interns under close supervision provides an added layer of diligence, with procedures meticulously planned and executed. The collaborative atmosphere promotes interdisciplinary teamwork, enhancing patient outcomes and safety. In teaching hospitals, excellence meets compassionate care, making them the optimal choice for those seeking the best care for their referrals.

We were all students once! By choosing to refer to a Teaching hospital your case directly contributes to the training of the future generation of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses. Many Bristol graduates choose to remain in the area. Those of you who did will know first-hand the exceptional care your cases receive and culture of learning we proudly foster.

What is the cost of referral?

Langford Vets aim to provide high quality care to as many as possible through striving for accessible pricing. This is feasible because we are fully owned by the University of Bristol and therefore any profit is reinvested back into the business.

Referral care at this level is expensive to provide and therefore this is a careful balance of delivering excellent care to as many animals as we can. Langford Vets have fixed price procedures meaning the majority of our costs are transparent and there won’t be any unpleasant surprises for your clients. All of our fixed priced procedures can be found on our website under the various service pages.

Some facts about Langford Vets in 2023 that may help your decision

We administered 103 blood transfusions, we performed 101 total hip replacements, 87 thoracotomies, 93 GI endoscopies, 393 dermatology consultations, 267 full echocardiograms, 2985 anaesthetics, 3451 CT scans, saw 228 dachshunds for intervertebral disc disease and gave 316 doses of vincristine.

We have 38 EBVS specialists across 16 disciplines
We saw 9677 referrals in 2023 which equates to 186 per week or 27 per day
We had 242 (out of 254) five star reviews
We responded to more than 3000 advice requests submitted via our website
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