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Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to The Sands Veterinary Practice LLP. This 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.

By registering your pet/pets with the practice you agree that you have read and understood our conditions of business and agree to be bound by them.

FEES

All fees, diets and drug charges 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. The cost of most routine surgery includes the cost of one post-operative check, but does not include the cost of any further consultations, dressings, consumables or drugs used. We are happy to provide estimates as to the probable costs of a course of treatment upon request. It remains the owner’s responsibility to ensure that they have received an estimate of the costs of treatment prior to it being administered if they have concerns about their ability to pay. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a typical course. Therefore costs may vary according to the response to treatment or other factors.

METHODS OF PAYMENT

Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diets.

You may settle the account using:

  • CASH
  • CHEQUE with current Banker card
  • CREDIT/DEBIT CARD – Switch, Solo, MasterCard, Visa, Delta
  • BACS – If you wish to pay by BACS please see our Bank Details on your Statement.

Only in exceptional circumstances can the practice allow a delay in payment. Delayed payments must be agreed with the veterinary surgeon prior to treatment, with a written note made on the client’s records. We reserve the right to request that any delay in payment must be in the form of a standing order with your bank. Payments can be made over the phone.

Should an account not be settled within 14 days then a reminder will be sent. Further reminders will incur an additional fee in respect of administrative costs incurred. The practice reserves the right to use debt collection agencies at any stage where agreed payment plans have not been complied with, or where the practice is concerned about non-payment. Further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. Any cheques 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 and administrative costs together with interest on the principle sum.

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. Please note that instalments or part-payments of any account may ONLY be sanctioned with the express permission of the Practice owner but any such arrangement must be agreed before treatment takes place. Emergency treatment to alleviate suffering will always be given irrespective of ability to pay.

PET HEALTH INSURANCE

We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents.

Under the Financial Services Act we are unable to recommend any particular insurance policy, but we do have information to help guide you on your choice of policy.

We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accident. Under the Financial Services Act we are unable to recommend any particular insurance policy, but we do have an information sheet to help guide you on your choice of policy. In most cases you will be responsible for settling our bill at the time of treatment and then claiming reimbursement of the amounts covered by your policy from your insurance company. For bills in excess of £300 we can usually make a claim for your insurance company to pay us directly, as long as you provide us with a signed and completed claim form within 5 working days of invoicing. You will need to pay the policy excess at the time of treatment. Any outstanding amount not covered by the insurers will be due for payment immediately after the insurers have settled the claim. In the unlikely event that a claim for direct payment has not been settled within 6 weeks we will require you to settle the account directly with us. Any claims for ongoing treatment will need to be paid by you at the time, and claimed back from your insurance company. If you require further help please ask for our “How to make a claim” guide sheet or ask a member of the team.

Agreement of a direct claim does not transfer liability of fees incurred to the practice. If at any point the insurer refuses payment for a direct claim, the owner will still be fully liable for all costs incurred. The insurance policy is a private agreement between the owner and insurer. The practice cannot be involved in disputes over non-payment of insurance claims. We allow 30 days from completion of claim form to receiving settlement. Should the insurer not settle within that time period, the owner may be required to settle the outstanding fees in full.

PHONE CALLS

It is our policy to record all phone calls coming into and going out of the practice. These recordings will be used in the case of a complaint or dispute.

TRANSPORTING YOUR PET

The responsibility for your pet whilst waiting for a consultation is with you and therefore we would request that all pets arrive at the surgery and leave enclosed in a suitable secure carrier or on a short lead.

HOUSE VISITS

In certain circumstances, we will attempt to comply with owners requests for a house visit. However due to the specialist equipment required for diagnostics and treatment, your pet may be better coming to see us in our modern, well equipped clinic. House visits are undertaken at the discretion of the Veterinary Surgeon and are not available outside practice opening hours.

REPEAT EXAMINATIONS & REPEAT PRESCRIPTIONS

It is practice policy that any pet with an ongoing illness is re-assessed by a vet at intervals of not more than three months. Regular monitoring of your pet ensures that we comply with the appropriate medicines legislation and that best results are achieved. In some cases of chronic disease we can offer repeat prescriptions without the need to see your pet. All requests for repeat medication have to be authorised by one of our veterinary surgeons. Request for repeat prescriptions can be made by email or by telephone. We would ask you to give us at least one working day’s notice before the medicines are available for collection.

OUT OF HOURS EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVISION

Out of hours emergency care is provided by MiNightVet, Telford Court, Unit E&F, Gates Lane, Chestergates Road, Chester CH1 6LT. In the event of an out of hours emergency please contact us on 01829 849844 and listen to the voice message to obtain the out of hours phone number.

CLINICAL NOTES FROM PREVIOUS VETERINARY PRACTICES

To be able to have your animal fully under our care and provide suitable treatments we require all clinical notes from previous veterinary practices.

OWNERSHIP OF RECORDS

Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by, The Sands Veterinary Practice. A summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.

OWNERSHIP OF RADIOGRAPHS AND SIMILAR RECORDS

The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph, remains with the practice.

PRESCRIPTION INFORMATION

In accordance with regulations, the following information must be provided to all clients in writing and this document serves to comply with such regulations. Please note that a prescription may be obtained on request from this surgery, a fee will be charged. However, the veterinary surgeon responsible for issuing the prescription may not issue the prescription unless your pet has been examined by a vet at The Sands Veterinary Practice and is under the care of a vet at The Sands Veterinary Practice.
The maximum period allowed since the last examination of your pet will vary according to the medication being dispensed and the condition for which the medication is required, at the discretion of the vet issuing the prescription. The maximum period allowed will never be more than 6 months. Only a vet may issue a prescription and if the vet is not present at the surgery when you request a prescription the nurse or receptionist may not issue the prescription, you will have to wait until a vet is on duty to attend to your request. In order to avoid such disappointment, please contact the surgery to request a repeat prescription (at least 48 hours before you come to collect it), so that it is available when you arrive to collect it. You may request to be informed of the price of any medication and the maximum period allowed before the next examination and the cost of such an examination (in order to issue a further prescription) for any medication we prescribe or intend to prescribe for your pet, and this information is freely provided.

COMPLIMENTS/FEEDBACK

We are always pleased to receive compliments/feedback on the service we provide.

COMPLAINTS AND STANDARDS

At all times it is our intention to try and ensure the best care for your pet and client satisfaction with the service that is provided, and we hope that you never have cause for complaint. In the event that you are unhappy with any aspect of our service, please raise it with a member of the team. If the proposed resolution is not to your satisfaction, then an appointment can be made with the practice owner to discuss the matter further. Alternatively, you may write to them at the Practice address if you prefer. Should you be unhappy with the outcome of the dispute, your next step would be to contact the governing body for veterinary surgeons and registered veterinary nurses, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons www.rcvs.org.uk.

The practice reserves the right to terminate the service it provides to a client and his/her pets. This will be done in writing and allow a 7 day period to permit the client to register with another veterinary practice. We will email patient records on request of the new practice. In the event of verbal or physical abuse to any member of the practice team, the practice reserves the right to provide no further treatment to the pets of the client, and the client will be banned from the practice premises and environs with immediate effect. The practice reserves the right to involve the police where it feels it appropriate.

No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the practice owner. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.