Terms and conditions
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet(s) to Colne Valley Veterinary Practice. Detailed below are our Terms & Conditions. Some aspects of the terms may not be relevant to you. Please ask for further explanation or clarification if required.
The Vet-Client-Patient-Relationship - Our 'Under Our Care' Policy
The Vet-Client-Patient Relationship is the cornerstone of our relationship with you and your pet(s). In establishing this relationship of mutual trust, it is agreed that we are responsible for making medical judgements regarding the health of your pet and the need for any appropriate medical therapy. We will be readily available for any follow-up evaluation and, when necessary, we will arrange a referral for specialist, emergency or critical care coverage and in such cases, we will provide oversight of treatment. It is therefore important that we have sufficient knowledge of you and your pet in order for us to initiate, at least in the beginning, a general or preliminary diagnosis of any medical condition. As such, for the Vet-Client-Patient Relationship to be maintained and for an animal to be deemed 'under our care', a full clinical examination must be carried out at least once a year and in cases where there is an ongoing medical condition, this examination must be carried out at least once every six months.
It is important that we maintain accurate records of our clients and patients. In order to do this, we will periodically ask you to confirm the details we hold. If your details change, please inform us so that we can ensure our records are as up-to-date as possible.
All fees, food, reception sales and drugs are subject to VAT. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and according to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. You will receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure and transaction with us. All prices quoted in any estimate of costs are inclusive of VAT at the current rate.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We will happily provide an estimate as to the probable costs of any 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 and unforeseen expense may occur. We will endeavour to inform you of any additional costs at our earliest opportunity depending on your pet's safety.
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 and reception sales. We prefer to take payment either by credit/debit card or by cash but we are also able to accept cheques. We can take card payments over the telephone for your convenience, and we can provide you with bank details should you wish to make payment by bank transfer.
Terms of Business
Any account not settled within 14 days will be sent a reminder. After due notice to you, an overdue account will be referred to our debt-collecting procedure and further charges may be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. Any cheque returned by our bank as unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured and any cash tendered and found to be counterfeit will result in the original account being restored to the original sum with further charges added in respect of any bank charges and administrative costs incurred.
Inability to Pay
If, for any reason, you are unable to settle your account we ask that you 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 permission of the practice principle.
Colne Valley Veterinary Practice will endeavour to provide veterinary services in accordance with the standards denoted in the RCVS Guidelines for Practice Standards and the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses. Guidelines are available at www.rcvs.org.uk. Please note that veterinary care may be withheld from clients who appear aggressive or abusive to staff members.
Pet Health Insurance
Colne Valley Veterinary Practice strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accident. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account and then reclaim fees from your insurance company. It may be possible for us to accept direct claims from some insurance companies; this will be subject to a pre-authorisation check. Please speak to a member of staff for details.
Out of Hours Service
Colne Valley Veterinary Practice is open Mondays to Fridays from 8am to 7pm and on Saturdays from 8:30am to 1pm. Outside of these hours all emergencies are transferred to the care of the Colchester Vets Now Emergency Clinic. If you require emergency treatment for your pet outside of our normal hours, please call our usual number (01206 794695) to be connected to the emergency service. Animals hospitalised outside our normal working hours will be checked and treated according to their clinical needs. High dependency cases may be referred for continuous monitoring if required; in such circumstances, you will be responsible for arranging transport to the appropriate premises.
Ownership of Records, X-rays Images & Similar Documents
The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking blood samples, X-Rays images (radiographs) or performing ultrasound scans. Charges made for such services are for carrying out these investigations and for interpreting their results. The resulting records, clinical or otherwise, remain the property of the practice.
Dispensing of Drugs
Prescription Only Medicines, Category V, (POM-Vs) are available from this practice. You may obtain such medications directly from us, or ask for a Veterinary Written Prescription and obtain them from another veterinary surgeon or an appropriate pharmacy. Veterinary Written Prescriptions will be issued subject to a fee and you will be responsible for sourcing the medications from a suitable supplier. Please bear in mind that delay in the start of a treatment may not be in the best interest or welfare of your pet. A written prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient with us or if immediate treatment is necessary. Colne Valley Veterinary Practice can prescribe POM-Vs only for animals that are under our care. However we are able to provide POM-V drugs for other animals if presented with a prescription from another veterinary surgeon. You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions at least every 6 months; however in more complicated or unstable cases, these re-examinations may be more frequent depending on the professional judgement of the veterinary surgeon managing the case.
Return of unused drugs
We are happy to accept unused medications back into the practice for disposal only. Please note that any drugs which have left the premises are no longer fit for resale and no refund can be given.
Complaints & Standards
We hope that you never feel the need to complain about the standards of service received from Colne Valley Veterinary Practice. In the unfortunate event that you have any issue with the treatment or service that you have received from us, please contact the Practice Principle in writing.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the practice principle. No agent or person employed by, or under contract, with the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in anyway.