TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
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Rev 5 - 24th January 2024
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Carnforth Pet Care. This information 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 clarification/explanation if required.
Out of hours pet care
We arrange an out of hours service which is available for emergencies only. This is provided either at our practice or another local practice in Kendal or Carnforth. Fees charged out of hours vary with the time of day or night. A fee schedule is available on request. If you have an out of hours emergency please call our normal practice number on 01524 805072 - listen to the voicemail as it will give you instructions on who to call and where you will be seen.
Consultations and Veterinary surgery opening times
Consultations are by appointment only. If a home visit is required please telephone the surgery before 10am.
In the case of an emergency a telephone call to the surgery detailing the emergency is required and could be critical in dealing with the case. We will triage emergency cases so that we can see the most urgent ones first.
All Fees, diets and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time and skill level required on a case and according to the medicines, materials, consumables and diets used. Our written fee list is available on request. You can receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet even if your pet is brought in on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent.
Methods of payment:
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of your drugs/diets. You may settle your account using:
Credit/Debit Card - Maestro, Solo, Mastercard, Visa, Delta but unable to accept American Express
In certain cases we may require a deposit or payment in full prior to treatment.
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 try to contact you on the contact numbers you have given us if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate costs however if you are not contactable we will treat your pet as is necessary for the prevention of pain or suffering.
Settlement of terms
Should an account not be settled within two weeks, then a reminder will be sent with additional accounting fee in respect administrative costs incurred. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our Debt Collection Agency and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, such as production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits etc.
Any cheque returned by our Bank as unpaid, 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 changes 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 instalments or part-payments of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of a Director. Any outstanding balances that remain unpaid will be referred to a debt collection agency with administration and charges added to cover the cost of collection.
Our liability in respect of all and any claims, damages or losses arising in respect of the goods and/or services provided by us or arising in connection with any attendance at our practice or attendance at any property by one of our employees shall be limited in accordance with our insurance cover. In the event of any uninsured claims, damages or losses our liability shall be limited to the value of the goods and/or services to which the claim, damages or loss relates.
Ownership of records
Case records, including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Carnforth Pet Care Ltd. Copies with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
Ownership of radiographs and similar records
The care given to your pet may involve making some specific investigations. For example taking radiographs 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 a radiograph remains with the practice.
Second opinions and specialist referrals
Should you feel you would like another opinion on your pet's illness please ask. We are always happy to arrange a second opinion with another vet or vets within the practice or referral to a specialist.
Complaints and standards
Carnforth Pet Care is committed to providing an exceptional standard of service and care. We realise, however, that things can go wrong and there may be occasions when you feel your expectations are not met. We hope that if this is the case you will give the practice a chance to put it right. Most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.
If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way, and you wish to make a formal complaint, we would like you to let us know in writing within 3 months. An acknowledgement letter will be sent once your formal complaint has been received. This will detail the name of the person handling your complaint about the standards of service received from Carnforth Pet Care. The clinical director or practice manager will then investigate your complaint in accordance with our Complaints Procedure.
If you are not happy with the outcome of this investigation we recommend that you refer your complaint for external mediation through the Veterinary Client Mediation Service within three months of the outcome of our investigation.
When you register your animal with our practice or request that we provide veterinary services we will collect personal data about you and, where relevant, your employees and/or agents. We will only collect data that we need to perform the services, take payment or contact you such as names, contact details and possibly some financial details. Please note that we may pass your details to debt collection agencies or our legal advisers for the purpose of recovering unpaid fees if you do not pay invoices when they fall due. From time to time we may also use your contact details to provide you with information about new services or special offers offered by Carnforth Pet Care or selected third parties.
We comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and with GDPR and will take reasonable precautions to ensure that your data is kept securely, used appropriately and is not shared with third parties except as required for the purposes outlined above. You are entitled to be provided with details of the data that we hold about you upon request.
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.
Responsible pet ownership and pet health insurance
Carnforth Pet Care believes in responsible pet ownership. This includes regular appropriate vaccinations and worming for cats and dogs, regular flea control and a permanent means of identification for your pet. Please ask us for advice on the best methods to achieve this. Carnforth Pet Care strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the Directors. No agent or person employed by or under contract with the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.