Terms & Conditions
Most importantly, thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to The Veterinary Hospital. Throughout this document The Veterinary Hospital, Hungerford and Belmont Veterinary Clinic, Pewsey will be referred to as The Veterinary Hospital. It is important to have clearly laid out the terms on which we operate and the way we expect to do business. Some aspects of the Terms may not be relevant to you and we request that you ask for further explanation/clarification if required.
All fees, diets and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time and skill level required on a case and according to the medicines, materials, consumables and diets used. Fee levels will also have a contribution towards general overhead costs. Any fee is available on request. A detailed itemised breakdown for every transaction is provided at the time. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet even if your pet is brought to us on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent. Deposits may be required prior to embarking on a procedure.
Methods of Payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of medicines/diets. You may settle the account using: Cash or a Credit/Debit Card – Switch Solo, Mastercard, Visa and Delta.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We provide a printed estimate of the costs of any procedure. Your signed agreement, or that of a responsible adult acting as your agent, will be required prior to any procedure being commenced. Occasionally a verbal agreement may be acceptable and will be noted on your client record. A deposit may be required prior to embarking on a procedure. Any estimate given can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course. We will try to contact you on the contact numbers you have given us if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate costs however if you are not contactable we will treat your pet in what we feel is their best interests. It is your responsibility to ensure that a responsible adult is available on the contact phone number you provide.
Inability to Pay
If, for any reason, you are unable to settle your account as specified, we ask you to discuss the matter as soon as possible with a member of staff. Please note that instalments or part-payments of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of a Senior Vet. It is a requirement that a formal “Acknowledgement of Debt” form is signed at the time.
In the rare event that full payment is not made at the time, a reminder will be sent at approximately 30 days with an additional accounting fee in respect of the administrative costs incurred. These charges may be deducted if payment is made promptly. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, further charges will be incurred. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and progressed through the court system. This may seriously affect your credit rating. Further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt: such as production of reports, correspondence, courts fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits, etc. Any cheque returned by our bank as unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in the account being restored to the original sum with further charges added in respect of bank charges and administration costs together with interest on the principal sum.
Responsible Pet Ownership and Pet Health Insurance
The Veterinary Hospital believe in responsible pet ownership. This includes regular appropriate vaccinations, 3 monthly worming for cats and dogs, regular flea control and a permanent means of identification for your pet. Please ask us for advice on the best methods to achieve this. The Veterinary Hospital also supports the “scoop the poop” campaign. We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle our account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.
Ownership of Records
Case records including radiographs, ECGs, ultrasound images, and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by The Veterinary Hospital. The fees paid relate to the undertaking and interpretation of these investigations. Upon request the case records may be passed to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case (see Data Protection below). In some circumstances an appropriate fee may be payable for the preparation of the notes and duplication of records, ECG, radiographs etc.
The Veterinary Hospital is registered under the Data Protection Act (Registration Number Z2520054). Details of our registration as a Data Controller can be found at the web site of the Information Commissioner’s Office (www.ico.gov.uk). As case records may contain personal data relating to clients as individuals, we ask that, if possible, any client wishing us to transfer the records to a third party, informs us of this intent. Insurance companies frequently request the full clinical records of any patient subject to a claim or embarking on insurance cover. The wording of Insurance paperwork for submitting a claim, or requesting cover will usually grant such a waiver as part of the process. Any client wishing to view their clinical records can make arrangements with the practice to see, correct, update or remove (as appropriate) any personal data held by us.
In addition to radiographs etc, photographic images of patients and lesions may be obtained. These images may be used for veterinary or public education, or for the promotion of the practice. All images may be used in both printed and electronic media. All rights to the use of any of the images remain with the practice.
The term “CCTV” is used to encompass the use of webcams, video recording and other similar devices. Both images and sound are usually recorded. Most of the areas of The Veterinary Hospital are covered by CCTV recording. This includes the external car park and other areas of the practice. The purpose of this recording is for training, compliance and security. The recordings may be used in the case of any dispute.
Prescriptions are available from The Veterinary Hospital. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, category V, (POM Vs) from your veterinary surgeon OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM V’s only for animals under his/her care. A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in–patient or immediate treatment is necessary. A charge will normally be made for providing a prescription– this will cover the costs of administration, choosing an appropriate medication, reviewing the previous history of the patient, recording details of the prescription on the history, writing the prescription and recording the details on the standard BVA format.
Complaints and Standards
The Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing an exceptional standard of service and care. We realise, however, that things can go wrong and there may be occasions when you feel your expectations were not met. We hope that before you complain you will give us a chance to put things right. Most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way, and you wish to make a formal complaint, we would like you to let us know in writing within three months. An acknowledgement letter will be sent once your formal complaint has been received. This will detail the name of the person handling your complaint and the estimated timeline for any investigation and response. In the event that you do not feel satisfied with our attempts at resolution you are entitled to contact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (www.rcvs.org.uk) and to follow their complaint procedure.
The Veterinary Hospital has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding violence, or threats of violence and abuse. We do not tolerate discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, mental or physical disability, religious or sexual preferences.
The Veterinary Hospital may contact you either by letter, phone, text or electronic means in order to advise you of outstanding accounts, reminders of your pet’s preventative health care treatments and any marketing offers that might be of benefit to you or your pet. Please tell the staff if you do not wish to be contacted. No addition or variation of these conditions will bind The Veterinary Hospital unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the directors. No agent or person employed by or under contract with the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.