TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
Herewith the Practice details our terms and conditions of trading. The Practice is happy to provide explanation/clarification on any aspect of these terms at the Client’s request.
Defined as all sites trading as Chantry Vets.
Defined as the owner or responsible guardian of the patient.
The transfer or sale of goods, services, treatments and fees from the Practice to the Client.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind The Practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the Director, Practice Manager or Operations Manager. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the Practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way. These Terms and Conditions supersede and replace any previous Terms and Conditions issued by the Practice.
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.
1. Appointments and Consultations.
Clients and their animals are attended to by Veterinary Surgeons (or where applicable) Registered Veterinary Nurses, by appointment only. The allocation of an appointment is the basis of charging for consultations. We reserve the right to charge a consultation fee for frequently missed appointments or surgical admissions. Post-operative re-checks (with the exception of routine neutering and dental procedures) are charged at the same fee as a re-examination appointment. Where applicable, bandage changing fees are charged in addition to consultation fees for each scheduled appointment.
Each practice site will display normal opening hours and these will vary according to the individual premises and day of the week. Information regarding opening hours for each surgery may also be found on the practice website. The Alverthorpe Hospital and several of our branch surgeries offer weekend opening for which an additional surcharge will be applied for any surgical procedures performed during these hours. The Alverthorpe Hospital also provides a routine and emergency service on Bank Holidays, with the exception of Christmas Day. Additional surcharges will be applied for surgical procedures performed during Bank Holiday opening hours and we reserve the right to charge a higher fee for consultations during this period.
All fees, medicines and products are charged inclusive of VAT at the current rate. The Client will receive a receipt for over-the-counter payments and should retain these receipts for future reference. If requested, a detailed invoice can be provided for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction. For work undertaken on surgery premises, fees remaining (after deposits) are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of the animal from hospital, completion of examination/vaccination/surgical procedure or upon collection of medicines etc. Charges from third parties, such as external laboratories, will be added to the invoice at the time of consultation/surgical procedure, with payment expected as per the above terms. These charges may be subject to change if the third party charge is more than anticipated. In these circumstances, an invoice will be generated as soon as the third party charges have been received. Payment is expected within 7 days of invoice.
For work undertaken away from the veterinary premises, the Practice will ask for payment by debit/credit card before the visit.
Receiving an invoice for monies owed to the Practice, does NOT make the Client an authorised account holder.
3. ‘Out Of Hours’ 24hour Emergency Service.
The Practice provides an out-of-hours emergency service for The Client’s animals for problems of an urgent nature. This service is offered at the Alverthorpe Hospital between the hours of 8pm to Midnight Monday-Friday and can be accessed by calling the Hospital number on 01924 362464. Outside these hours, provisions are offered by Leeds Emergency Vets, 52 Commercial Road, Morley, Leeds, LS27 8AG, who have agreed to provide the remaining out-of-hours service for all Clients of the Practice. The telephone number for Leeds Emergency Vets is provided to The Client through the telephone answering-machine. The Client will be charged a higher fee by the duty Veterinary Surgeon for consultations during the out-of-hours service. Home visits are not usually practical out-of-hours and The Client will need to make arrangements for the animal to be brought to a veterinary surgery.
The Alverthorpe Hospital is closed on Christmas Day. During this time callers will be recommended to contact Leeds Emergency Hospital as above. The Alverthorpe Hospital provides a routine and emergency service on all other Bank Holidays. The Alverthorpe Hospital does not offer out-of-hours provision between 6pm and Midnight during Bank holidays. During this time callers will be advised to contact Leeds Emergency Hospital as above.
4. Estimates of Treatment Costs.
The Practice can provide an estimate of probable costs for procedures and treatment although such treatments and procedures may not follow a conventional course and therefore an estimate can only be approximate. In the case of routine procedures, the Practice can provide a quotation. Some additional fees may be added to quotations for necessary services and goods provided in unforeseen circumstances. Should the Practice need to contact the Client whilst the Patient is under General Anaesthetic and the Client is unavailable, the Practice reserves the right to proceed with treatment. Decisions with regards to treatment will be made in the patients best interests by the treating Veterinary Surgeon. The owner will remain liable for these treatment costs and payment is expected under the terms expressed in Clause 5. Any overpayments based upon estimates will be refunded on request or may be left as credit at the Client’s discretion.
All transactions are to be paid for at the time of treatment. The Practice accepts cash, most credit and debit cards and can take payment in advance. The Practice does not accept cheques. In cases where a patient is admitted for disease investigation, surgery and/or prolonged treatment (and where claim direct approval is not in place) the Practice will require payment of some or all of the estimated fees in advance of starting treatment. Deposits will be required of 50%-100% of the estimate. For anticipated balances of over £1000, then 100% of the estimate will be required. With ongoing in-patient care, the Practice will require the Client to make interim payments. We reserve the right to request additional payments towards treatment costs at any time.
6. Agreed Payment Plans
The Practice requests you provide any forewarning of genuine inability to pay as required under Clause 5. Credit terms may be agreed subject to approval by an external company. Chantry Vets Ltd holds authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority to introduce clients to Shawbrook Bank; a finance provider, through Carefree Credit, the broker. If an application for credit is approved, and the agreement signed, then payment is made directly to the Practice from Shawbrook Bank. Repayment schedules to Shawbrook Bank remain the liability of the Client. Clients are encouraged to read the separate trading terms and conditions for Shawbrook Bank. Further information on this service is available from the broker, Carefree Credit, who introduces this service to the practice at www.carefreecredit.co.uk.
Applications must be over the minimum threshold as set by the external provider.
7. Payment – Defaults.
Should the Client default on a payment, at any time, the Practice reserves the right to suspend services and to refuse to attend to any animal registered at the client’s home address, until full payment is received. The outstanding amount may attract interest from the payment due date and can be subject to an accountancy fee each time a statement is issued for the outstanding amount. Goods which have not been paid for will remain the property of the Practice until payment is received in full. Where outstanding fees become overdue for more than seven days of the transaction, then a reminder will be sent. If payment is not received within 30 days of the transaction, then an accountancy fee may be charged for the administrative costs incurred. Should further reminders be required, an accounting fee may be charged each time a reminder is sent. In addition to this, interest may be charged at 4.5% per annum above the Barclays’ Bank base rate on fees outstanding after 45 days of the transaction date. For all clients, these additional charges may be deducted if payment is made promptly within seven days, but only at the discretion of the Credit Control Department. Fees that continue to remain overdue beyond this date will be referred to an external Debt Collection Agency and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt (such as production of reports, correspondence, Her Majesty’s Court fees, phone calls, home visits, etc). All registered clients agree to the transfer of personal data to debt collection agencies or Small Claims Courts in the event of non payment. The Client should be aware that court proceedings may cause credit worthiness to be questioned elsewhere. If the Practice resorts to legal action, then no further treatment will be offered to the Client’s pet or any other animals.
If the Practice agrees to retain the Client with a previous payment default record, all future transactions will be on a strictly cash only and payment at the time, in advance of treatment, basis.
8. Payment Terms – Insured Pets.
Clients with insured pets that have incurred fees are required to pay the Practice in full in accordance with Clause 5 above. At the Practice’s discretion, it may be possible, to utilise a Claim Direct facility. The Practice may take payment of the policy excess (es) and payment for all goods not covered by the policy, providing the claim form instructs the insurers for direct payment to be made to the Practice. Claim Direct approval will be required for each new condition or new period of insurance. The client will be required to contact the Insurance Company and give permission to discuss the Patient’s policy with the practice. The Client will also be responsible for providing a full medical history of the patient in advance of Claim Direct requests.
The offer of a Claim Direct approval by the Practice is not a guarantee of payment. Should this be required by the Client’s insurer, the Client may request that a pre-authorisation be arranged (if offered by the Insurer and clinically appropriate). Clients must request this from the Insurance Department at the time of Claim Direct request. If Claim Direct is declined by the Practice, clients may still submit a claim form for treatment upon settling the account, as per Clause 5.
If the Insurance Company declines payment, the Client is responsible for immediate payment in full, under the Terms detailed herein. The insurance policy is a contract between the Client and the Insurer.
Trained personnel can discuss the types of insurance cover and policy levels, however we are unable to provide a specific recommendation and cannot advise on products offered by other insurers. The Practice does not levy a fee for the processing of insurance claims, this added value service is provided free of charge. A separate consent form detailing the terms and conditions of insurance claims, will be required for all insured clients making a claim on their pet insurance.
9. Payment Terms – Account Holders.
The Practice can only consider account facilities to certain commercial and charitable enterprises and the issuing of invoices and statements is a service provision for those who agree with the payment terms of 14 days from invoice date. Requests for Account Terms must be made in advance of treatment with adequate notice and may be agreed to, solely by the Director, Practice Manager or Operations Manager. The Practice may apply fees in cases of non-payment and late payment and reserves the right to withdraw the account facility at any time. Charges for non-payment and late payment will be shown on subsequent statements. Statements are issued at least monthly. Refer to Clause 7 Payment Defaults. The Practice reserves the right to request references to confirm details of residence and reliability of payment.
10. Payment – Dishonoured.
Any credit card payments not honoured, any cash tendered found to be counterfeit and any insurance cheque payments returned by the bank as not honoured, will result in the Client’s record being restored to the original sum outstanding. Further charges will be added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs and full payment will then be due immediately. Failure to pay at this time will render the Client liable to interest charges on the original sum from the date of the transaction. Fraudulent transactions will be reported to the police.
11. Complaints and Service.
We’re always pleased to receive compliments and feedback on the service we provide. We hope that you never have recourse to complain about our standards of service. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to raise, please direct your comments in the first instance to your treating Veterinary Surgeon. If you feel that your queries have not been fully resolved, please contact us in writing and address to Louise Callaghan, Admin Co-ordinator at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org We reserve the right to transfer medical records to professional advisors and mediators, if we believe it is in the interests of assisting to resolve a complaint.
12. Non-Licensed Medicines.
At a Veterinary Surgeon’s discretion where no equivalent licensed medicine exists or is currently available, it may be deemed appropriate to prescribe a medicine that is not specifically licensed for use in a particular species. In such cases, the Veterinary Surgeon will explain the potential side effects and any precautions to the Client.
13. Data Protection.
The Practice abides by the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and will use the data provided by the Client for the purpose of record keeping, updating and enhancing reports and relevant publications. The Practice shares data only with companies authorised by the Director. The Practice will maintain the Client’s confidentiality at all times and will not allow any unwarranted breach of confidentiality nor will it contravene its obligations under GDPR. Clients must choose to opt in to receive marketing correspondence sent by the practice and may be asked to confirm these details in person, via post or electronic means. We also process personal information using a CCTV system to monitor and collect visual images for the purpose of security and the prevention and detection of crime. Discussions with regards to client accounts will only be entered into with the registered individual. In instances where a third party wishes to discuss matters relating to the client record, then express consent must be given by the registered keeper.
14. Reminding Service.
Please note that the Client is responsible for maintaining the schedule of vaccinations or treatments recommended. While the Practice may provide a reminder service for the convenience of the Client, it does not accept any responsibility in so doing.
15. Referral Cases.
If the Practice needs to refer any cases to a specialist external centre, then payment is due directly to that centre and will be under their terms of business. The Practice is unable to pay fees on the Client’s behalf.
The Practice will also accept referrals from other Veterinary Practices and second opinions when requested. In both cases a full medical history will be required prior to the appointment, unless in an emergency situation.
From time-to-time photographs are taken within the premises and may include images of the Client and/or their animals. Clients may be approached by the practice to use these photographs on social media or for other purposes, in which case a signed consent form will be required.
17. Import/Export of Animals/Pet Passports.
It is the responsibility of the Client or his/her agent to ensure that requirements for the import/export of animals are met and/or that the requirements are met under the terms of travel for the Pet Travel Scheme. The Practice does not undertake the duties of an export agent and recommends the Client contacts DEFRA for current and accurate advice.
18. Student Nurses.
As an approved Training Practice, Trainee and Student Nurses under qualified guidance, may be involved in the care of the Client’s pets.
19. Care of Inpatients
Patients cared for as In Patients at the Alverthorpe Hospital will be under the care of a Qualified Veterinary Nurse or Veterinary Surgeon at all times.
20. Ownership of Radiographs and Associated Records.
The care given to the Client’s animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs, ECG recordings or performing ultrasound scans. Even though the Practice makes a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, the ownership of the resulting record remains with the Practice.
21. Pet Health Plans
The Practice offers a Pet Health Plan providing preventative healthcare provisions using a monthly direct debit service. Separate terms and conditions for the use of the plan are available on the plan commencement documentation. Clients may cancel the plan at any time by contacting the administrators as specified on their policy documentation and by informing the Customer Service Department of the Practice. Any plans cancelled part way through the year may be subject to further charges, depending of the quantity of goods and services already provided under the Plan.
Clients are requested to give 24 hours’ 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. To assist our clients, when the patient is just examined for the purpose of dispensing routine anti-parasitic treatment there is no charge for a consultation. Should clinical matters or a skin condition for which treatment is necessary arise out of that examination, then a consultation fee will be incurred.
Written Prescriptions are available on request, in order to enable the Client to obtain prescription medication from an alternative retailer. A charge is levied for the provision of a written prescription. Veterinary Prescriptions will only be provided for patients under the care of the Practice which have received a recent health examination by a Veterinary Surgeon. A consultation fee will be levied to provide the health examination. This applies to Initial and repeat requests. Prescriptions may be valid for up to 6 months depending on the condition of your pet and at the discretion of the Veterinary Surgeon. A prescription may not always be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or requires immediate treatment. Medications provided via written prescription from alternative retailers cannot be claimed by the Practice on Pet Insurance policies as we cannot guarantee the validity of the invoice and medications supplied. The Practice is unable to guarantee the efficacy of any medications supplied via private prescription. The Practice will not provide refunds for goods purchased via private prescription and will charge a nominal fee for their disposal.
23. Returned medications
Unused medications that are returned to the Practice will be sent for disposal. The Practice is unable to offer refunds for any medications that have left the Practice premises as we are unable to guarantee the storage conditions and continued efficacy of such items. Charges may be levied for the disposal of certain medications and ‘sharps’.
24. Severances and Variation of Terms and Conditions of Business.
If any of these Terms and Conditions should be determined to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason by any Court or competent jurisdiction, then such Term or Condition shall be severed and the remaining Terms and Conditions shall survive and remain in full force and effect and continue to be binding and enforceable.