Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to Best Friends Veterinary Surgery. This document details our Practice Terms and Conditions. Should you require any clarification of any aspect of the terms then please ask to speak to the director.
All fees, diets and drug charges are available on request. Fee levels are determined by the level of expertise and time spent on a case and according to drugs, consumables and materials used. A member of staff will be happy to discuss any queries you may have. You will be offered an itemised fee invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us at the time of payment.
OWNERSHIP OF RECORDS
The care given to your pet may involve undertaking some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs. The ownership of the resulting radiographs and all other records will remain at all times with the practice as part of your complete and comprehensive records. Charges made for x-rays are for the interpretation of them. If required, we can arrange to have copies of x-rays made but this would be at your expense.
Radiographs and copies of all laboratory results, with a summary of the history will be passed on, by request, to another Veterinary Surgeon should the need arise. You may view your pet’s clinical notes on request by appointment only. Please note it is your responsibility to provide us with accurate contact details.
Please note that in an effort to prevent fraud we may share details of debtors with other local businesses.
To safe guard your privacy Best Friends Veterinary Surgery will not disclose your personal data to other businesses unless it is for the care of the patient under our care. Your data will only be used for direct marketing by the practice in the interests of continuing care of your pet by for example sending parasite reminder texts, vaccination reminders and sending you information on products and services that are relevant to you and the care of your pet. You can opt out of marketing
We share your personal data with MWI Animal Health, for the purposes of them providing the services provided through the practice appointment booking system, which will include the following categories of personal data: Name, address, email address and telephone number.
Payment is due at the time of treatment or discharge unless alternative arrangements have been agreed in advance. Should an invoice not be settled a reminder will be sent. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, administration charges may be incurred at a rate of £50 per correspondence. After due notice unpaid invoices will be referred to our debt collection agency and/or the Small Claims Court and further charges, such as for the production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court and phone calls will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. Any cheque or credit/debit card transaction not honoured or any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in the invoice being restored to the original sum with further charges added to cover bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum.
In the event of a debt remaining unpaid we reserve the right to pass your data to debt collection agencies or local government agencies.
INABILITY TO PAY
If for any reason you are unable to settle your invoice as specified, we ask you to discuss the matter with a member of staff as soon as possible and before treatment takes place. Emergency treatment to alleviate suffering will always be given irrespective of ability to pay.
METHODS OF PAYMENT
Invoices are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs and/or diets. You may settle your invoices using cash or credit/debit cards. Please note that we do not accept cheques or American Express. The invoices of hospitalised cases should be paid up to date when the balance reaches £250.
ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS
We will provide you a written estimate as to the probable cost of a course of treatment or surgical procedure. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate and additional costs which cannot be predicted at the outset may occur as treatment progresses. We will make every effort to discuss any such additional costs whenever possible.
PET HEALTH INSURANCE
Best Friends Veterinary Surgery strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents. Best Friends Veterinary Surgery are approved partners of PetPlan insurance and can offer information about their policies.. Please ask for details from any member of staff but be aware though that with any insurance company it is your responsibility to determine your level of cover and to then reclaim any fees you have paid the practice. It is also your responsibility to pay any excess that may be set according to your policy and to have knowledge of any condition exclusions. In certain instances when clients do not have the funds to make payment in full, arrangements can be made for your insurer to make their payment directly to us but this only applies to particular insurance companies and even then when sums involved are high enough. Please ask for details if you would like to be considered for this facility. When presenting a claim form for completion by the practice we will also require an authorisation letter from you. This allows us to give information to the insurance company and liaise with them regarding your claim on your behalf.
COMPLAINTS AND STANDARDS
We hope to ensure you never have recourse to complain about the standards of service received from us. However if you feel that there is something you wish to raise, please direct your comments, preferably in writing, to the Practice Manager. An acknowledgement will be sent by return and then a period will elapse while the case is investigated and reports collated from those staff involved. A reply in writing will follow, usually within 14 days although the period may be longer if the Practice Manager or staff involved are temporarily unavailable or delayed.
1. Repeat prescriptions. The policy of this practice is to reassess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every three months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. A charge is made for re-examinations. Your veterinary surgeon may only prescribe Prescription Only Medicine (POM Vs) for animals under his or her care. A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary. We regret we are unable to send/email prescriptions on your behalf.
2. We strongly advise the regular use of anti-parasitic medication.’ The majority of these products are POM Vs and legally we are only able to dispense such products without the need of an examination when an animal has been examined by a Veterinary Surgeon in the last 12 months. We may therefore be required to examine your pet prior to dispensing. In order to assist our clients, when the patient is just examined for the purpose of dispensing routine antiparasitic treatment there is a reduced charge for a consultation. Should clinical matters or a skin condition for which treatment is necessary arise out of that examination then a consultation fee will be incurred at this time.
3. In accordance with the Medicines Act we will always use a veterinary licensed product first. Should this not be the case we will then use veterinary products licensed for use· in other species and failing that a human medical product. Any use of off-licence medication will be based upon our knowledge of its use in animals and an assessment made of the risks and benefits involved. This is particularly common in species other than dogs and cats for which few licensed products are available. Please speak to a veterinary surgeon if you have any concerns about this issue.
4. We can supply a written prescription as an alternative to Best Friends Veterinary Surgery dispensing drugs.
EMERGENCY COVER AND HOME VISITS
Best Friends Veterinary Surgery makes provision for 24 hour emergency cover for registered clients. There is a surcharge made for this service over and above the normal consultation fee. This service is provided by a dedicated emergency service provider which has been thoroughly vetted and approved by the surgery.
Home visits are available if booked in advance, at an extra charge. In an emergency it is usually in the best interests of your pet to be seen at a surgery where facilities and a full range of drugs are available.
Whilst we make every effort to send out reminders for annual vaccinations, the responsibility to keep them up to date remains with you.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the Practice Manager. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the company has the authority to alter or vary these conditions.