Terms of Business

Fees

This veterinary practice is a member of the CVS (UK) Limited group of veterinary practices, registered in England and Wales with registration number 3777473 and whose registered office address is at 1 Vinces Road, Diss, Norfolk, IP22 4AY. This document sets out the terms of the contract established between us (CVS (UK) Limited) and you (the registered animal owner or individual requesting veterinary services) which comes into being when you register your animal with our veterinary practice or when you ask us to provide veterinary services.

Should you have any queries regarding any aspect of these terms of business please do not hesitate to ask us for further clarification.

General Terms (applying to the provision of all goods and services

Estimates

Estimates are provided verbally either at the time of booking the appointment or during the consultation itself. Written estimates are available on request. All estimates given are only approximate, and the final fee could be higher or lower than this estimate depending on complications during treatment and patient response to treatment. We will endeavour to contact you as soon as we have reason to believe that the costs could be significantly higher than the estimate.

Fees

All fees for services and prices for goods (including food, accessories and drugs) are subject to VAT at the applicable rate (currently 20% for standard-rated items). Prices for goods are as marked or notified at the point of purchase. A full fee breakdown will appear on your invoice.

Fees for services include our professional fees in respect of the veterinary services provided along with the cost of any drugs, materials or consumables used in the provision of the services. Professional fees vary according to the time spent on a case, and the level of expertise required of the staff looking after your animal.

Payments

Please refer to the specific terms regarding payment for small animal and large animal and commercial work below.

The following general payment terms apply in all cases.

If you become unable to pay your account according to the standard terms, this must be discussed with the veterinary practice as soon as possible.

In the absence of any other arrangement agreed with the veterinary surgeon, accounts not settled within our standard terms will be subject to a late payment interest charge of 5% above the Bank of England base rate accruing from the date payment should have been received until final settlement. In the case of commercial work interest and charges shall be shall be calculated in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

If you do not pay your invoice when it falls due we shall take such action as we consider appropriate to recover our fees which may include engaging third party debt collection agencies to recover the outstanding fees and/or instigating proceedings against you in the county court. In such cases, any costs levied by the debt collection agency will be added on to the outstanding balance owed by you and/or we will seek to recover any legal expenses from you. Please note that the use of debt collection agencies and the county court could affect your future credit rating.

We shall be entitled to suspend the provision of any further goods and/or services until you have paid any outstanding sums in full. Where we consider it appropriate to do so we may require payment on account before goods and/or services are provided.

Prescriptions

Prescriptions are available from this practice. You will be advised of the prescription charge when you contact the practice. Prescription charges are applied only when you request a prescription from us but go elsewhere to have the prescription filled. Animals requiring repeat prescriptions will need to be re-assessed periodically by the veterinary surgeon dealing with the case. The re-examination interval will vary between clinical cases. Please give us 48 hours’ notice for any requests for a repeat or written prescription. There is a charge for a re-examination, details of which will be provided on enquiry.

Please note that we cannot accept the return of any prescription drugs as such items cannot be resold. If you wish us to safely dispose of any unwanted medication we can do so.

Client records

Client and clinical records, and other such similar documents (including, but not limited to, digital imaging results), are and shall remain the property of CVS (UK) Limited. Copies of clinical records may be passed to another veterinary surgeon on request should you move surgeries.

We never discuss or sell confidential records to any third party other than if you move surgeries or are referred to another veterinary surgeon.

Liability

Our liability in respect of all and any claims, damages or losses arising in respect of the goods and/or services provided by us or arising in connection with any attendance at our practice or attendance at any property by one of our vets shall be limited in accordance with our insurance cover as detailed above. In the event of any uninsured claims, damages or losses our liability shall be limited to the value of the goods and/or services to which the claim, damages or loss relates.

Data Protection

When you register your animal with our practice or request that we provide veterinary services we will collect personal data about you and, where relevant, your employees and/or agents. We will only collect data that we need to perform the services, take payment or contact you such as names, contact details and possibly some financial details. Please note that we may pass your details to debt collection agencies or our legal advisers for the purpose of recovering unpaid fees if you do not pay invoices when they fall due. From time to time we may also use your contact details to provide you with information about new services or special offers offered by the CVS group or selected third parties.

We comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will take reasonable precautions to ensure that your data is kept securely, used appropriately and is not shared with third parties except as required for the purposes outlined above. You are entitled to be provided with details of the data that we hold about you upon request and payment of a £10 fee.

Complaints

We pride ourselves on offering a quality service, and take customer complaints seriously. Should we not meet your expectations on any aspect of our service please discuss this in the first instance with the Practice Manager or the consulting Vet as soon as possible. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached please forward your complaint in writing to the Clinical Director or Regional Director at the relevant practice.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint you may complain to: The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, Horseferry Road, London. We will co-operate fully with any investigation the RCVS may undertake.

 

Additional terms applying for small animal work only

Payment

You must pay for all goods (including drugs) at the point of purchase. You must pay for all services as they are received. You will be advised exactly when payments are due depending upon the nature of the services that we provide to you but you should expect to make payments at the end of each consultation and upon the discharge of your pet from our care. In the event that your pet is hospitalised we may require part payment in advance of any period of hospitalisation and/or stage payments for longer periods of hospitalisation. If your pet is hospitalised we will try to phone you each day to discuss the progress of your animal and the fees incurred once the veterinary surgeon has completed their morning rounds.

Payment is accepted by cash, debit/ credit card, or BACS transfer. Please note that if a pet is registered with our practice we will assume that any person other than the registered pet owner who may bring the pet in for treatment is duly authorised by the registered pet owner to seek treatment for the pet and to incur costs for which the registered pet owner will be liable. Where a pet is not registered with our practice we will assume that the individual requesting treatment accepts liability for all costs incurred.

Insurance

We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Subject to satisfactory insurance with a CVS approved insurer, the practice can, at the client’s request, submit a claim directly to the insurer. In such cases, the client must pay the excess and any excluded amounts at the end of the consultation or upon demand and, in the event that a claim is refused by the insurers, will remain liable for our fees. In the event that an insurer fails to acknowledge our claim or respond to communications from us within 30 days we will treat this as a refused claim and seek to recover the full cost from you. You may, of course, seek to recover the costs directly from your insurer should this occur. The practice does not make any charge for this service.

You must advise us prior to any treatment if you wish us to submit a claim to your insurer in respect of our fees and complete an Insurance Claim Declaration. If you do not advise us in advance that you us to submit a claim directly to your insurer you will be liable to pay our fees as they become due and may then seek to recoup the cost from your insurer yourself.

Home visits

In most cases your pet will receive better treatment if it is brought into the surgery where we have the equipment, facilities and staff necessary to treat them. However, there are some cases when it may be preferable to provide treatment at your home.

We endeavour to come out to your home at your convenience but we ask that you call the surgery in the morning so we can arrange this around other duties. There is an additional charge for a home visit. You will be provided with an estimate of fees when calling to book a visit.

Out of hours care and hospitalisation

We have provisions in place to provide emergency care for outside normal surgery hours. In circumstances where this is provided by a third party operating from our premises, any fees incurred during the out of hours times will be payable directly to that third party. Further details concerning the precise arrangements for emergency service are available in the practice.

 

Additional terms applying to large animal work and services for commercial clients only

Payment

Registered clients will be invoiced for all goods and/or services provided. Invoices shall be payable by cash, debit/credit card, cheque or BCAS transfer within 28 days of the invoice date. Notwithstanding any credit terms that may have been agreed, we reserve the right to require payment in advance for certain services such as surgical procedures at our discretion. We reserve the right to withdraw credit facilities in the event of late payment in which case all sums due and owing to us shall become immediately payable.

Clients for whom credit accounts have not yet been set up must provide us with payment on account of estimated costs or provide details of a credit or debit card from which payment may be taken before, during or after we provide the goods and/or services.

Please note that if an animal is registered with our practice we will assume that any person other than the registered animal owner who may request treatment is duly authorised by the registered animal owner to seek treatment for the animal and to incur costs for which the registered animal owner will be liable. We will assume that all liveries and stables are duly authorised by the animal owner to seek veterinary services at the cost of the animal owner whether or not the animal is registered with our practice. However, in the event that our invoice remains unpaid or is disputed by the animal owner and the livery or stable is unable to produce a written agreement between it and the animal owner authorising the livery or stable to seek veterinary services at the owner’s cost we shall be entitled to recover all unpaid or disputed costs from the livery or stable. In the case of farms and commercial establishments we shall be entitled to assume that any individual instructing us to provide veterinary services is duly authorised to bind the farm or commercial establishment.

Insurance

In the event that you believe the costs of any goods and/or services we provide are covered by an insurance policy you must advise us in advance and complete an Insurance Claim Declaration. You must provide us with a copy of your completed insurance claim within 7 days of the provision of goods and/or services.

You shall remain liable for all fees which are not covered by your insurance policy and must pay any applicable excess in advance. Where the exact excess is not known you must pay us 25% of the estimated fees on account and make a further additional payment to account for any difference immediately upon confirmation of any applicable excess. You shall be responsible for pursuing any claim and must require the insurer to pay us directly. In the event that payment has not been received within 60 days you must immediately pay to us all outstanding fees and advise your insurer that any payment may be made to you instead of us.

Transportation

If your animal requires transportation it shall be your responsibility to arrange this. You shall be liable for all costs and risks of transporting your animal.