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TERMS & CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS

Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to Riverside Veterinary Surgery. This document details our Practice Terms and Conditions. Should you require any clarification of any aspect of the terms then please ask.

FEES

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.

ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS

We are happy to provide a written estimate regarding the expected costs of investigations, a surgical procedure or course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate due to the unpredictable nature of clinical work. The final invoice may be above or below the original estimate, depending upon clinical circumstances. Where possible, we will keep clients updated if costs are likely to exceed the original estimate, although in a clinical emergency this may not always be possible. All estimates are valid for 30 days.

PAYMENT TERMS

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.

We reserve the right to request part payments during extended stays. We reserve the right to ask for part payment of the estimated costs on admission.

We do not accept personal cheques, American Express, Solo or Diners Club cards.

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. Failure to make payment within 30 days of the invoice issue date may result in the matter being referred to a third party and additional costs and interest will be added to the outstanding balance.

INSURANCE CLAIMS

Riverside Veterinary Surgery strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents.

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. In the event that a direct claim is submitted, any balance remaining 30 days after submission of the claim shall be paid by you within 14 days. It is important to appreciate that if, having carried out careful checks with you and your insurers, we decide that we are prepared to undertake a direct claim for the treatment of your pet, this is not a guarantee that your insurers will settle your claim, and if they fail to do so, you will be liable to pay us in full any outstanding amounts on the account.

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.

CLIENT DATA AND CONFIDENTIALITY

The Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1999 gives anyone the right to be informed about any personal data relating to themselves on payment of an administration charge. At the request of a client, we will provide copies of relevant clinical records, including any clinical records we have acquired from the referring practice. 

OWNERSHIP OF CLICINAL RECORDS & DIAGNOSTICS IMAGES

The care given to your pet may involve undertaking some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs & other diagnostic tests. With the resulting radiographs and all other records we work in accordance with Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons guidelines i.e.

  • Clinical and client records, including radiographic images and similar documents, are the property of, and should be retained by, Riverside Veterinary Surgery in the interests of animal welfare and for our own records. In the event of supersession, second opinion or referral, copies with a relevant clinical history will be passed on request to a veterinary surgeon taking over or seeing the case.

  • Should copies of radiographs or reports be required, an administration charge may be incurred.

Please note it is your responsibility to provide us with accurate contact details.

PRESCRIPTION POLICY

Prescriptions are available from this practice. 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-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 general policy of this practice is to re-assess every three months any animal that requires repeat prescriptions, but this frequency may increase or decrease depending on individual circumstances and the opinion of the veterinary surgeon. The standard charge for a re-examination for such purposes is the prevailing price of a consultation fee. There is a charge for providing prescriptions. Please ask a member of staff for the current prescription fee.

REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS

We kindly request that, wherever possible, you give us 48 hours notice for repeat orders of either medication or prescription food. Certain medications may have to be ordered in for the sole treatment of your pet and, in these instances, we will require payment in full, even if they are not collected or used. We will always inform you, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your pet.

In accordance with the Medicines Act we will always use a veterinary licensed product if possible. 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.

PET REMINDERS

Riverside Veterinary Surgery will contact you either by letter, email, phone or SMS 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. Riverside Veterinary Surgery accepts no liability for any loss, damages or costs which may result from the failure of a client receiving any reminder.

TRAINING PRACTICE & STUDENTS

Here at Riverside Veterinary Surgery we are proud to be a training practice, this means at any part of the day, our students may be working with your pet. Our students are closely supervised by qualified professionals, and are expected to adhere to strict guidelines at all times. However if you wish to withdraw your consent for a student to work with your pet please let a member of staff know.

CONCERNS & STANDARDS

We aim to offer the highest standards of patient and client care at all times, and as such we hope that 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 bring to our attention, please speak to a member of reception in the first instance. Our Practice Manager will assist with any issues that remain unresolved and, where appropriate, they will escalate the matter.

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 Riverside Veterinary Surgery directly, you can contact the RCVS on their website www.rcvs.org.uk for further details of how to register a complaint.

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. At each stage 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 Manager or staff involved are temporarily unavailable or delayed.

Complaints relating to a registered client must be received directly from the client. All complaints must be received by the practice WITHIN 2 MONTHS of the event. Any complaint received outside of this time frame will not be investigated unless the complaint is in relation to the professional conduct of a member of the team. Guidelines relating to professional conduct can be obtained from the RCVS.

All complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.

CONTACT DETAILS FOR COMPLAINTS:

Written complaints may be sent via email to info@riversidevetsgrays.co.uk or by post to:

FAO Practice Manager

Riverside Veterinary Surgery

23 Southend Road

Grays

Essex

RM17 5NH

 

Review

This policy is reviewed regularly and updated as required.

Riverside Veterinary Surgery - Independant Veterinary Practice in Grays, Essex
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