Terms and conditions:
Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to QCVC vets. This document details our Practice Terms and Conditions. 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, should you require any clarification of any aspect of the terms then please ask.
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 levels 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.
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 will be incurred. After due notice, unpaid accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and further charges for the cost will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. While it is our policy to cooperate with our clients whenever possible, if payment is not made in accordance with our terms then debts will be escalated for further action and may include to the Small Claims Court to issue proceedings.
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 be sanctioned with the express permission of a senior member of staff but any such arrangement must be agreed before treatment takes place. Emergency treatment to alleviate suffering will always be given irrespective of the 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. If a specific diet or drug is necessary and is deemed a special order then payment is required prior to ordering. You may settle your accounts using cash or credit/debit cards. Card payments can be taken over the phone for your convenience.
Estimates of treatment costs:
We will provide you with a written estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment or surgical procedure. Costs are also detailed on admission and consent forms that are prepared prior to any treatment. 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 reasonable effort to discuss any additional costs wherever possible. Written estimates are valid for one month and as they are estimates only, they may not reflect the final costs incurred.
Pet Health Insurance:
We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents. Please ask any member of staff for details about insurance but be aware though that with any insurance it is your responsibility to determine your level of cover and then to reclaim any fees that 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.
Please be aware that the practice cannot make a direct claim to your insurer.
Afford A Pet:
We offer an afford-a-pet plan to help budget for the care of your pet. For a monthly fee, the plan allows you to visit the practice for consultations. Medicines, neutering, pet passport, exports and referrals and out-of-hours care are NOT covered by this plan. Pets can only be accepted onto the plan at the discretion of a veterinary surgeon and must be fully up to date with all current care and preventative treatment. Please be aware that if a pet leaves the plan and subsequently wishes to rejoin, then this again is at the discretion of a veterinary surgeon and you will be requested to bring your pet in for an up-to-date check up to determine if they can rejoin the plan. There is an increased rate for re-joiners who have left the plan for a period of 3 months or more.
Any member of staff will be happy to discuss our afford-a-pet plan with you.
The monthly payments are collected by direct debit and a joining fee is required.
We also offer dental plans and preventative health care plans to allow you to budget for the day-to-day care for your pet. Any member of staff can help discuss the plans and explain the terms and conditions.
Whilst we make every reasonable effort to send out reminders for annual vaccinations, the responsibility to keep them up to date remains with you. Please be aware that if your pet is on our afford-a-pet plan or preventative healthcare plan and the vaccinations are allowed to lapse then a fee will be incurred to bring the vaccination course up to date. Please be aware that Pets passports require rabies vaccination boosters so please keep a personal record of when this is due.
In an emergency, it is usually in the best interest of your pet to be seen at the surgery where facilities and a full range of drugs are available. It is not normally possible to carry out home visits unless this has been arranged with prior notice given.
Prescriptions are available from the practice. The current charge for a written prescription is displayed in our reception area or you may ask a member of staff for this information. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, Category V , (POMVs) from a veterinary surgeon or ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POMVs 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 prescriptions every 3 months but this may vary with individual circumstances. The charge for this re-examination is our standard consultation fee. Flea and worm treatments can be dispensed however without examination as part of a health plan agreed at the annual health assessment. Clients are requested to give 24 hour’s notice for repeat prescriptions. We strongly advise the regular use of routine anti-parasitic medication. Many of these products are POMVs and legally we are only able to dispense such products without the need of an examination when an animal has been examined by a veterinary surgeon in the last 12 months. We may therefore be required to examine your pet prior to dispensing. Should clinical matters or a skin condition for which treatment is necessary arise out of that examination then a consultation fee will be incurred at this time. In accordance with the Medicines Act we will always use a veterinary licensed product. Should this not be available 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 or knowledge of its use in animals and an assessment made of the risks and benefits involved. Please speak to a veterinary surgeon if you have any concerns about this issue.
In an emergency call the practice and you will be provided with the contact telephone number for the current out of hour’s emergency provider.
Ownership of records:
The care given to your pet may involve undertaking some specific investigations such as taking radiographs. The ownership of the resulting radiographs and records will remain at all time with the practice as part of the complete and comprehensive records. Charges made for x-rays are for the production and interpretation of them. If required, we can arrange copies but this will 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 or obtain a copy of your pet’s clinical notes on request by appointment only. Please note it is your responsibility to provide us with accurate contact details
We are always pleased to receive compliments and feedback on the service we provide. The staff can provide you with a feedback form at reception and you can email these to Reception@qcvc.co.uk or talk to one of the team.
Complaints and Standards:
We hope to ensure that you never have recourse to complain about the standards of service received from us. However, if you feel that there is something that you wish to raise, please direct your comments within 28 days in writing to the Clinical Director or Practice manager or alternatively by email to Reception@qcvc.co.uk
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 28 days although the period may be longer if the Practice Manager or staff involved are temporarily unavailable or delayed.
We will not tolerate any aggressive or abusive behaviour to any staff member at any time. Any client behaving in such a way will be asked to leave the premises immediately and will be notified in writing that they must find alternative veterinary cover.
Variations in Terms and Conditions of Business:
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless specifically agreed in writing by the Clinical Director or Practice Manager. Additionally, no agent or person employed by or under contract with the Practice has the authority to alter or vary these terms and conditions in any way.
Referrals and Second Opinions:
Should your pet need specialist treatment we will discuss with you the option to refer to a specialist Veterinary Surgeon.
If you would like to have a consultation with one of our vets for a second opinion you will need to make an extended appointment and provide the details of your previous veterinary surgeon. If we do not have access to your pet’s previous medical history then we will not be able to take on your pet’s case.
We request that you make appointments by telephone, rather than email during our consulting hours which are Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm and on Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
Policy for care of overnight In Patients:
All staff vacate the premises at 8pm. There are no staff on the premises overnight. A veterinary surgeon will advise you if they feel it is appropriate for your pet to be kept overnight on the premises. If the veterinary surgeon feels that overnight care is required then they will advise a referral to the Out Of Hours Service. It is your responsibility to take your pet to the Out Of Hours Clinic after a referral has been made. Charges are made under the Out Of Hours terms of business and payment is made by yourself to the Out of Hours Service. Staff are available at all times at the clinic. In the morning there will be communication between our practice and the service to ascertain if it is appropriate to transfer your pet back to our care.