Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to South Devon Referrals.
This document 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. These Terms may be updated from time to time. The most up to date version of these Terms, and other information about the practice, is available on our website: http://www.southdevonref.co.uk/.
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. Our written fee list is available on request. You will receive a detailed fee note for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us.
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; Credit/Debit Card (Mastercard, Visa, Electron, Maestro, Discover, Diners Club, JCB). Please note that we DO NOT accept American Express cards.
ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS
We will happily provide a written estimate as to the probable costs 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 course. We will attempt to contact you if we believe the treatment costs are likely to significantly exceed the estimate, but will continue to treat your pet as necessary to relieve pain and suffering if you cannot be contacted.
DEPOSITS / INTERIM PAYMENTS
In some cases, where fees are likely to be substantial, we reserve the right to request a deposit payment prior to commencing treatment or to request an interim payment of costs to date.
TERMS OF BUSINESS
All payment is required on receipt of our invoice. Any account not settled within 28 days of the due date may be referred to Daniels Silverman Ltd, our debt collection agency. Further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt: production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits, etc. 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.
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 any payment terms other than full payment at the time of the service being supplied may ONLY be sanctioned with the express permission of Jim Carter, Nicky Thistle or John Harvey.
PET HEALTH INSURANCE
South Devon Referrals strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff, although be aware that we are unable to recommend specific companies. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle our account and then reclaim the fees from your Insurance Company. To contribute to the administrative costs of making insurance claims, we charge an annual fee per condition claimed for. Details of this fee are available on request.
COMPLAINTS & STANDARDS
We are completely committed to offering the best possible care for your pet, and you as a client, and hope that you are never concerned about the standards of service received from the South Devon Referrals. If you have any questions about the service you have received, we would firstly encourage you to raise these with the members of staff involved. We are able to resolve most queries efficiently in this way.
However, if you feel that there is something you wish to discuss further, please direct your comments in the first instance to Nicky Thistle (Practice Manager).
OWNERSHIP OF RECORDS.
Case records and similar documents are the property of, and shall be retained by, South Devon Referrals. Copies with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
OWNERSHIP OF X-RAYS AND SIMILAR DOCUMENTS
The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking x-rays 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 an x-ray film) remains with the practice.
South Devon Referrals offers a range of referral services. Our referral clinicians are actively involved in contributing to the high standards of care for all our patients. To support practices that refer cases to us, we will not provide first opinion veterinary services to any pets of clients that have been seen for referral treatment in the preceding six months.
SECOND OPINIONS AND REFERRALS
Please ask if you would like another opinion on your pet’s treatment. We are also always happy to arrange referrals to specialists, when appropriate.
CLIENT CONFIDENTIALITY AND DATA PROTECTION
The veterinary surgeon/client relationship is founded on trust, and in normal circumstances we will not disclose to any third party any information about a client or their animal either given by the client, or revealed by clinical examination or by post-mortem examination. Permission to pass on confidential information may be express or implied. Express permission may be either verbal or in writing, usually in response to a request. Permission may also be implied from circumstances, for example in the making of a claim under a pet insurance policy, when the insurance company becomes entitled to receive all information relevant to the claim and to seek clarification if required.
Your personal data held by South Devon Referrals is protected in the UK by the Data Protection Act. This provides, amongst other things, that the data we hold about you should be processed lawfully and fairly. It should be accurate, relevant and not excessive. The information should, where necessary, be kept up to date and not retained for longer than is needed. It should be kept securely to prevent unauthorised access by other people. You have the right to see what is held about you and correct any inaccuracies.
Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, category V, (POM Vs) from your veterinary surgeon or ask permission and obtain these from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. Your veterinary surgeon may only prescribe POM Vs 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, the price of any medicine prescribed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess every 6 months any animal that requires repeat prescriptions, but this frequency may increase depending on the individual circumstances. We make a charge for preparing a written prescription, details of which are available on request.
We ask for a minimum of 24 hours for all repeat prescription requests.
OUT OF HOURS PROVISION
In the event that you have an emergency (or require urgent veterinary advice) during the hours that the practice is closed, details of emergency services are available by phoning our usual number. To ensure that vets, nurses and other qualified staff are immediately available (rather than being called out which can delay treatment), we share our provision of this service for first opinion cases with other practices. First opinion clients will be seen by Exonia Veterinary Emergency Service Veterinary Hospital, St Davids Station, Exeter EX4 4NT, Tel. 01392 284217. Clients that have been referred to South Devon Referrals for ophthalmology treatment can contact the on call ophthalmologist directly on the number supplied on the practice answer phone message.
When we hospitalise patients overnight, we pride ourselves on ensuring that a qualified veterinary nurse is on site at all times, under the direction of a veterinary surgeon.
VARIATION OF TERMS
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by Jim Carter. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the company has the authority to alter or vary in any way these conditions.