At the beginning
AMAZING as it may seem, there was no complete referral service including 24-hour critical care cover for London’s small animals previously, so that alone was enough to spark the thought that there really should be. But as well as filling a need for the capital’s pet owners, we also wanted to do the same for our first-opinion vets – by offering a first-rate service to them and involving them in each case as much as possible. When treating a sick animal, good communication and involvement of all parties means continuity of care and a joined-up approach that offers most benefit all round. The pet benefits from having access to a team of top veterinary specialists and state-of-the-art equipment not available elsewhere; the pet owner is reassured that their beloved pet is receiving the best care and is close by; the referring vet is able to offer clients extended veterinary care and services and we can gain the best insight from talking to the first-opinion vet who worked up the case and knows the owner well. A win-win all round, as they say. Like human healthcare, veterinary care is becoming ever more specialised, and this is actually something that niggled me. It is increasingly difficult for very specialised staff to provide complete and tailored care for each patient they see. One clinical problem may be confounded by another in a different body system to where their expertise lies. So a team of consultants – each a specialist in a different area – was how I saw London Vet Specialists working. People can have five vets, at a very minimum, residency-trained, treating each case, offering a multidisciplinary approach to pet care where the consultants work together for the best outcome – and a faster patient recovery. As for so many things in life, it is a collaborative approach that leads to the best outcomes, and a good team really is worth its weight in gold, as they say. LVS has a brilliant team, built most definitely by design rather than accident – but more about that to come.