TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet(s) to The Good Companions Veterinary Clinic. This letter details our practice terms and conditions. If you have any queries please ask for further clarification.
We are open weekdays from 08:30-18:00 and on Saturday from 08:30-12:00 (our first routine appointment on any day is 08:45).
Outside of our normal opening hours we have comprehensive 24hr emergency cover based at Bishops Stortford Veterinary Hospital. The hospital has a very experienced and friendly team with a wide range of diagnostic and surgical facilities and can offer a very high standard of care. There is always a veterinary nurse on site who checks the animals as frequently as dictated by their condition(s) and a veterinary surgeon on call. By calling our normal number you will be given the number of the on-call vet who can give advice and arrange to see you and your pet if required. The emergency team will have access to your pet’s clinical records and so will be able to give the best possible advice and care. Out of hours consultations are subject to a surcharge of at least £115+VAT.
We have a competitive pricing structure and all fees, diets and medications are subject to VAT at the current rate. First consultations for a condition are currently charged at £40.82+VAT. You will receive a detailed invoice for every transaction with us.
METHOD OF PAYMENT
Accounts are due for settlement either at the end of your consultation or when you collect food or medications from the surgery. If your pet is a day patient then accounts are due for settlement when you collect your pet. We accept cash, debit or credit cards excluding American Express.
ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS
We aim to always provide you with an estimate as to the costs of treatment. Please bear in mind that this will be an estimate rather than a quote as often an animal’s illness and/or treatment does not follow a conventional predictable course. You can request an estimate at any time. If your animal is an in-patient we will update you regularly on anticipated costs as circumstances allow.
We do not offer account facilities and clients are asked to pay at the time of treatment in order to keep costs as low as possible. If an account is not settled then reminder statements will be sent. Ultimately if an account is not settled we will be unable to provide veterinary care for your pet(s) in the future – written notice will be given of this decision.
INABILITY TO PAY
If for any reason you are unable to settle your account we ask you to discuss the matter as soon as possible with a member of staff. Installments or part-payments may only be sanctioned with the permission of the practice manager. In exceptional circumstances you will be offered a payment plan. If you default on the payment plan we will send reminder statements but may be unable to provide future veterinary care for your pet(s) (written notice would be given of this decision).
We strongly support the principal of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. It remains your responsibility to settle our account on our normal terms and reclaim the fees from your insurance company. We can assist with the processing of your insurance claim at no extra charge.
Direct insurance claims can be made but need to be authorised by a veterinary surgeon and a surcharge will apply.
COSTS OF PREVENTATIVE CARE
The costs of your pet(s) preventative healthcare include annual vaccinations and parasite control. These are important for the health of both you and your pet. The costs of these routine treatments can be spread by using our Pet Health Plan (see separate leaflet).
SECOND OPINIONS AND REFERRALS
We are happy to provide a second opinion on your pet’s illness/injury and will request the pet’s clinical history prior to your appointment to enable your vet to fully understand your concerns.
In some instances it is necessary to access specialist services and advanced diagnostic equipment, in these circumstances we will discuss this with you in detail. We can arrange referral to a specialist centre of your choice however for proximity we will usually recommend Dick White Referrals (Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket) or the Royal Veterinary College (Potters Bar).
VETERINARY MEDICINES DIRECTORATE REGULATIONS
We are only able to provide prescription medications for animals ‘under our care’ or on presentation of a valid prescription. We therefore will recommend re-examining your pet regularly, the exact timescale will be dependent on their clinical condition and health. Our charges for this are currently £39.17+VAT.
We are happy to provide a written prescription for any medication that your pet requires however this is not recommended when a delay in treatment will be detrimental to the health of the animal. Our charge for a prescription is currently £12.18+VAT.
COMPLAINTS AND STANDARDS
We hope that you never have recourse to complain about the standard of service that you receive from us however there may be a specific problem you wish to discuss or an area in which you feel we can improve our service to you. If this is the case please direct your comments in writing to Louise MacLeod and the matter will be investigated promptly. We aim to respond within 7 working days.
Your privacy is important to us. Any data relating to you or your animal will only be used within our practice and can be accessed by our out of hours provider in case of an emergency, at times it may be shared with third parties such as external laboratories as required. Your data will only be shared with another veterinary practice once you have requested this and given consent. Your computer records are kept indefinitely, paper records are kept for a minimum of 7 years.
You are able to opt in to email and text message communications from us regarding appointments and treatment updates, this is a service you can opt out of at any time.
The care given to your animal(s) may involve the production and interpretation of images such as radiographs, ECGs and ultrasound scans. The ownership of these images remains with The Good Companions Veterinary Clinic but copies can be passed to another veterinary surgeon at your request.
You have a right to access any data that we hold for you and your pets at anytime.
No addition or variation of these conditions are allowed unless it is agreed in writing by a practice principal. No agent or person employed by or under contract with the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.
Updated March 2022