TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS – Cherry Tree Vets Diss
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Cherry Tree Vets. This notice 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 required.
OUT OF HOURS EMERGENCY SERVICE
We provide our own 24hour emergency service 365 days of the year. If you have an emergency please phone the surgery on 0137 9870999. Every evening and week end, including bank holidays, there is a divert from our regular number onto a mobile phone kept by one of the vets. If there is bad signal or no reception, you will be able to leave a message. Please do so, with your name, phone number, clearly and slowly, the reason of your call and the duty vet will call you back as soon as the vet receives the message. If you are not called within 15 minutes call the practice again just in case the telephone call goes through a good signal zone, as delivery of the message could be delayed for any reason, by the service provider.
All our out of hours emergencies are seen at our Veterinary Surgery in Diss, Roydon road. We will not send any emergency away unless our work load doesn’t permit us to see to your pet in a good time frame. House visits can be made but it is often more appropriate to see emergencies at the surgery where we have access to a wide range of medicines and critical care facilities, including imaging.
We provide 24hour on site nursing.
All fees, diets 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. Our written fee list is available on request. All consultations are charged for. Each new condition or problem is charged out at the “first consultation fee”; follow up consultations for the same problem are charged at a “follow up” consult fee thereafter, which includes health check, communications, interpretation of diagnostics, lab tests or imaging, for which any of the above requires time and expertise. For details regarding these charges please contact our surgery.
You will receive a detailed hand written receipt for all surgical and diagnostic procedures. A detailed receipt for consultations and prescriptions is also provided on payment. A printed receipt from our computer system is available on request. A statement or summary of fees can also be handed out, should your pet insurance requires those. We charge prescription fees and dispensing fees as we need to check and consult animal files before we can prescribe or dispense. All fees are payable at the time of the consultation, unless an prior agreement has been made with the senior veterinary surgeon. Fees that are outstanding for a number of weeks, at the discretion of the practice manager, will incur surcharge fees and legal action.
METHODS OF PAYMENT
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of each consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diet foods. You may settle your account using:
CHEQUE payable to Cherry tree vets
CREDIT/DEBIT CARD – Switch, Visa, MasterCard, Solo (minimum £15.00 transaction for credit/debit card payments)
We are able to process card payments over the phone, should you need to make a payment from the comfort of your home.
ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS
We will happily provide a written estimate as to the probable cost of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional or predictable course so we cannot always assess the exact cost of the treatment your pet requires in advance but we will give you as much information as we can. If treatment that was not originally planned is necessary we will do our best to keep you informed and seek your agreement before proceeding providing it is possible to do so without risk to your pet.
INABILITY TO PAY
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 a member of staff prior to treatment. Please note that installments or part payments may only be sanctioned with the express permission of the Director Dr Marie Bouvet and a formal agreement signed clearly stating the repayment schedule.
Should an account not be settled within 30 days then a reminder will be sent. Should it be necessary to send further reminders an additional accounting fee in respect of administrative costs will be incurred. These however may be deducted if payment is made promptly. Interest on outstanding accounts will be added 2% per month. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, such as correspondence, court fees, attendance in court, phone calls, home visits etc.
Should it be necessary to start sending further reminders for an outstanding account we will also give written notice informing you that no further treatment will be given to your pet(s) under any circumstances until the account is paid.
Persistent late payment may result in written notice informing you that no further treatment will be given to you and your pet(s).
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 charges added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum, with a minimum fee of £5.00
PET HEALTH INSURANCE
Cherry Tree Vets strongly supports the principal of insuring your pet against unexpected illness, injury or accident. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account as per our terms and condition for payment and then claim the fees from your Insurance Company.
COMPLAINTS AND STANDARDS
We hope that you never have recourse to complain about the standards of service received from Cherry Tree Vets. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to bring to our attention, please direct your comments in the first instance to the Customer Care Manager.
OWNERSHIP OF RADIOGRAPHS AND SIMILAR RECORDS
The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting the results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph, remains with the practice and will be retained by Cherry Tree Vets.
Copies with a summary of the history can be passed on by request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
PRESCRIPTIONS & REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS
Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, Category V, (POM Vs) from us or ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy.
We can only prescribe POM Vs for animals under our care i.e. the individual animal has been examined by a vet at our practice. We have to have current and accurate knowledge of the pet and condition being treated. For POM-V medicines the interval can be no more than 6 months though this interval may be less if the condition being treated is unstable or liable to rapid change or deterioration (e.g. heart conditions, diabetes etc). For POM-V flea and worm treatments, shampoos and prescription diets we have set a 12month interval for examination of the pet.
A prescription to obtain medicines 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 pet.
The general policy of our practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every 6 months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. You will be informed at the time of each examination the interval before the next re-examination is required. The standard charge for re-examination is available on request. This routine health check is required by law and is important to ensure your pet is not suffering any adverse reactions and the dose rate and medication are still appropriate.
As per the Department of Trade & industry (DTI) and Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) regulations we display a price list for the top 10 POM Vs most commonly prescribed or supplied during each quarter.
Further information on the prices of medicines is available on request.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by both the practice directors. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in anyway.
RETURN OF MEDICATION
The Veterinary Medicine Directorate have made illegal to re-use any returned drugs. This means we can only accept returned drugs for disposal and not for a credit to the account.