This statement details our practice terms and conditions. Some aspects of the terms may not be relevant to you and we request that you ask for further explanation/clarification if needed.
There is unfortunately no NHS for pets, so veterinary practices are providing private health care. The fees that you pay reflect the investment that we make in caring for your pet along with funding the services, drugs, facilities and staff expertise, allowing us to give the best possible care for your pets. All fees, foods, shop items and drugs are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and according to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. A detailed receipt is available for every consultation, surgical procedure and transaction with us.
Methods of Payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of each consultation, the discharge of your pet, or upon collection of foods and drugs. You may settle your account using cash, card or bank transfer. American Express cards are not accepted. Cheques are also accepted.
Should your account not be settled at the time of treatment, we reserve the right to add statutory interest of 10% above the current Bank of England base rate to amounts outstanding. This will be calculated from the first date of any outstanding debt and will be referred to as a late payment charge. Reminders in the form of invoices, statements and/or letters may be sent with additional accounting fees in respect of the administration costs incurred. If the account is still outstanding after reminders, your overdue account will be referred to a Debt Collection Agency or directly to HM Court service, where further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. The practice reserves the right to request payment upfront for consultations and/or treatment. An estimate of costs will be provided upon request. Clients in breach of our terms and conditions will be given appropriate notice to register at a different veterinary practice and will thereafter be refused all services provided by our practice.
No further commercial dealings will be possible while the debt is outstanding without an agreed and signed payment arrangement with the practice. Additional costs may include production of reports, correspondence, court and solicitors’ fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits. 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 original account being restored to the original sum with further changes added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum.
Inability to Pay
We are legally obliged to provide 24 hours of emergency treatment to an animal.
In an emergency situation with your pet, 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 our Practice Manager or Director of the practice. Please see Methods of Payment above. In all cases, a swipe of your credit or debit card will be required, before payment terms may be agreed.
Dispensing of Medicines
Prescriptions – In most circumstances, medicines prescribed by the veterinary surgeon will be dispensed within the practice. A written prescription for the dispensing of medicines at a different pharmacy or another vet, can be provided. (A charge will be incurred for the first item and a reduced cost for any subsequent item). Prices for medicines available at our practice are available on request. A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or if immediate treatment is necessary. Your vet may only prescribe Prescription Only Medicines (POM-Vs) for animals under their care. The policy of this practice is to re-asses an animals requiring repeat prescriptions every six months. (This may vary with individiual circumstances). There is a standard charge for re-examination.
Repeat Prescriptions – animals with on-going conditions will require to be checked periodically (usually six monthly) but this will be determined by the veterinary surgeon in charge of the case. This also applies to repeat prescriptions for medicines to be dispensed elsewhere. There is a charge for the re-examination and re-assessment of the case.
In certain cases, we may decide that the best treatment for your animal involves prescribing medication outside the data sheet recommendations (i.e off licence under the cascade system) or a specifically prepared unauthorised medicine, or a medicine imported from another country under a Special Import Certificate. In accepting the treatment of your animal at the Windmill Veterinary Centre, you accept that there may be risks and side effects associated with treatment.
We cannot give credit for return of medication even if it remains unopened and unused as we are unable to monitor the storage and security of item once it has left our premises. We can arrange to dispose of unwanted medications for clients, purchased from our practice.
Ownership of Records
Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by the Windmill Veterinary Centre. Copies of a summary of the history will be passed on by request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
Estimates of Treatment Cost
We will happily provide a written estimate of the probable costs of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate based on the information we have at that time. A pet’s illness may not follow a conventional course.
Compliments, Comments or Complaints
We aim to give you the best possible service and we are always looking at ways to improve your experience at our practice. Knowing when we get things right is just as important as knowing when we need to do better. If you have encountered any problems, or wish to thank our team for a job well done, we will be pleased to hear from you. Tell the person in charge of your animal’s care; alternatively, please contact Louise O’Hara, our Practice Manager. Her direct line telephone number is (01296) 716030 or if you prefer email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a veterinary business, our veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses must comply with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Code of Professional Conduct. If you have concerns relating to the professional conduct of a staff member and have not been able to resolve it with the practice directly, you can contact the RCVS via their website www.rcvs.org.uk where you’ll find further details of how to register a complaint.