This document details our Practice's Terms and Conditions. Should you require any clarification of any aspect of the terms then please ask The Practice Manager, Mrs J. Snape.
Conditions of Registration
By registering with Shipston Veterinary Centre Ltd, you agree to the terms and conditions of the business.
For clients transferring from another practice we require a full clinical history. It is a condition of registration that you consent to a financial reference being provided from previous veterinary practices, and consent to the disclosure of this information. Unsatisfactory references may result in your registration being declined or cancelled. Please ensure you allow enough time for your history to be obtained before making an appointment.
All fees, diets and drug charges are available on request and are subject to VAT at the current rate. 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 presented an itemised fee invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us at the time of payment. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment for your pet even if your pet is brought to us on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent.
Payment is due at the time of treatment or discharge unless alternative arrangements have been agreed in advance; should an account not be settled a reminder will be sent. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, administration charges may be incurred. After due notice unpaid accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency 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 account being restored to the original sum with further charges added to cover bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum.
Inability to Pay
If for any reason you are unable to settle your account as specified, we ask you to discuss the matter with a member of staff as soon as possible and before treatment takes place. Please note that instalments or part payment of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of a senior member of staff and must be agreed before treatment takes place. Emergency treatment to alleviate suffering will always be given irrespective of ability to pay.
Methods of Payment
Accounts 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 accounts using cash, credit/debit cards or cheque with a valid cheque guarantee card up to the value on the card. The accounts of hospitalised cases must be paid up to date on discharge.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We will provide you a written estimate on request 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
Shipston Veterinary Centre Ltd strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents. Under the regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) we are not authorised to promote specific insurance companies. However, we are allowed to give general information about insurance; the practice does not receive commission for this. Please ask about insurance 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.
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.
Complaints and Standards
We hope to ensure you never have reason 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, Mrs Jill Snape or to the Director, Dr C.H.J. Bourne. A written 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.
Monitoring Telephone Calls and Emails
Telephone calls and emails to and from the practice may be recorded or monitored. By using such communication methods you are consenting to the recording or monitoring of the same. For this reason, we are unable to take payments on incoming telephone calls. We are able to telephone you back on a non-recorded line to take payments by arrangement however.
Prescriptions are available from this practice.
The current charge for a written prescription is displayed in our reception areas or you may ask a member of staff for this information.
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 a pharmacy.
Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM Vs only 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. You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your animal.
The policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every three months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. The charge for this re-examination is our standard Medication Check consultation. Flea and worm treatments can however be dispensed without examination as part of a health plan agreed at the annual health assessment and for animals registered at Shipston Veterinary Centre and seen within the last year.
Clients are requested to give 24 hours advance notice for repeat prescriptions as these have to be ratified by a Veterinary Surgeon and checked by two other members of nursing staff to reduce the chance of an error being made.
In accordance with the Medicines Act we will always use a veterinary licensed product. 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. You may be asked to sign a consent form for the use of unlicensed preparations.
We will supply a written prescription as an alternative to dispensing drugs.
Emergency Cover and Home Visits
Shipston Veterinary Centre Ltd provides our own 24 hour emergency cover. There is a surcharge made for this service over and above the normal consultation fee. The cost varies depending on the time of the day or night and the day of the week at which the emergency occurs. This reflects the unsociability of the hours and the costs of providing 24 hour cover.
Home visits are available at an extra charge and if booked in advance. 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. It is not normally possible to carry out home visits outside normal working hours though this is at the discretion of the Emergency Veterinary Surgeon.
Second Opinions and Referrals
We are a small practice and cases are routinely discussed by the whole veterinary team. However, it is often worthwhile to seek a second opinion within the Practice. Please ask to see a specific Veterinary Surgeon and reception staff will facilitate this if possible.
If you would like to seek a second opinion from a different Practice, do discuss this with us as we are often able to recommend a specialist for difficult or complicated cases. Such referrals can usually be arranged easily and at short notice. We will usually speak to the specialist Practice first and then ask you to ring them directly to arrange an appointment at your convenience. Meanwhile, a referral letter together will all relevant clinical history, radiographs and laboratory findings will be e-mailed to the Referral Practice so that no duplication of work is carried out. Clients referred to another Practice are responsible for making payments to that Practice directly and Shipston Veterinary Centre Ltd is not liable for any costs incurred at a different Practice.
Shipston Veterinary Centre will contact you either by text, e-mail, card, letter, or telephone in order to advise you of your pet's upcoming healthcare treatments, including annual vaccinations.
Whilst we make every effort to send out reminders for your pet's healthcare, these are provided as a complimentary service and the responsibility to keep them up to date remains with you. In particular, please be aware that PETS passports require rabies vaccination boosters so please keep a personal record of when this is due. Shipston Veterinary Centre Ltd accepts no liability for any loss, damages or costs which may result from the failure of a client receiving any reminder.
Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to Shipston Veterinary Centre.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind Shipston Veterinary Centre Ltd unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by a Director. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the company has the authority to alter or vary these conditions.