Derwent Valley Vets Terms of Business

This veterinary practice is an independent limited company, registered in England and Wales with registration number 09684935 and whose registered address is The Boat House, 110 Dale Road, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 3PP. This document sets out the terms of the contract established between us (Derwent Valley Vets Limited) and you (the registered animal owner or individual requesting our services) which comes into being when you register your animal with our veterinary practice or when you ask us to provide veterinary services.

Should you have any queries regarding these terms of business please feel free to ask us for further clarification.

Estimates of treatment costs

Estimates can be provided verbally either at the time of booking or during the appointment itself. Written estimates are available on request. All estimates are approximate, and the final fee could be higher or lower depending on unforeseen complications during treatment or patient response to treatment. We will endeavour to contact you as soon as possible if we have reason to believe that costs could be significantly higher than the estimate. If your pet is hospitalised, we will attempt to phone you each day to discuss the progress of your animal and the fees being incurred.

Fees

All fees, drugs, shop products and services are subject to VAT at the current rate. Prices for goods are as marked or discussed at the point of purchase. A full breakdown of costs will appear on your printed invoice. Fees charged are comprised of our professional fees in respect of the veterinary services provided, along with the cost of any drugs, materials or consumables used.

Please note that if a pet is registered with our practice we will assume that any person other than the registered pet owner who may bring the pet in for treatment is duly authorised by the registered pet owner to seek treatment for the pet and to incur costs for which the registered pet owner will be liable. Where a pet is not registered with our practice, we will assume that the individual requesting treatment accepts liability for all costs incurred.

Methods of payment

Payment is requested in full at the end of each consultation, the discharge of your pet, or upon collection of foods and drugs. Occasionally we may accept a direct insurance claim for larger amounts e.g. more complicated operations, but only where this has been preauthorised by the insurance company, see below.

You may settle your account using cash, card or bank transfer. American Express cards and Cheques are not accepted.

Should your account not be settled at the time of treatment, we reserve the right to add a surcharge to all amounts outstanding.  Reminders in the form of invoices, emails and letters may be sent with additional fees in respect of the administration costs incurred.  If the account is still outstanding after reminders, your overdue account will be referred to a Debt Collection Agency where further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. Please note that the use of debt collection agencies and the county court could affect your future credit rating.

No further commercial dealings will be possible while the debt is outstanding and we shall suspend the provision of any further goods and/or services until the outstanding sum is paid in full.

Where we consider it appropriate to do so we may require payment on account before goods and/or services are provided.

Insurance claims

We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents.

Unless there is a prior agreement with Derwent Valley Vets, full payment is required before we can process your claim. An appropriately completed and signed claim form must be submitted to the practice once treatment has been completed or at suitable intervals for ongoing claims. We will endeavour to complete these forms and return them to the insurance company within a week. No administration fee is made for processing your claim.

Occasionally we may accept a direct insurance claim for amounts in excess of £500. This can usually only be done where the claim can be preauthorised by the insurance company so is usually reserved for pre-planned procedures.

At the time of making the direct claim, we will require you to make payment to the value of the excess of your policy. Any anticipated shortfall in the cost of treatment which is not covered by your insurance company will be payable by you to us at the time of making the first direct claim. Any additional shortfall which is owing after the claim has been settled will be payable by you to us at that time.

It is important to appreciate that if we undertake a Direct Claim for the treatment for your pet that this is not a guarantee that your insurers will settle your claim. If they fail to do so, this will result in a shortfall for which you will be liable to pay us in full.

Dispensing of medicines

In most circumstances, medicines prescribed by the veterinary surgeon will be dispensed within the practice. A written prescription for the dispensing of medicines at a pharmacy or another vet, can be provided. A prescription charge will be incurred when you request a prescription from us but go elsewhere to have the prescription filled. The prescription charge is available on request and varies according to how many products it needs to cover. Prices for medicines available at our practice are also available on request.  A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or if immediate treatment is necessary. Your vet may only prescribe Prescription Only Medicines (POM-Vs) for animals under their care. Animals requiring repeat prescriptions will need to be re-assessed periodically by the veterinary surgeon dealing with the case. This also applies to repeat prescriptions for medicines to be dispensed elsewhere. The re-examination interval will vary between clinical cases. There is a charge for a re-examination, details of which will be provided on enquiry.

By law, we cannot give credit for return of medication even if it remains unopened and unused as we are unable to monitor the storage and security of items once they have left our premises. As medications need to be strictly temperature controlled this means they are unable to be resold.   We can arrange to dispose of unwanted medications purchased from our practice.

In certain cases, we may decide that the best treatment for your animal involves prescribing medication outside the data sheet recommendations or we may wish to use a specially prepared unauthorised medicine, or a medicine imported from another country under a Special Import Certificate. In accepting the treatment of your animal at Derwent Valley Vets Ltd you accept that there may be risks and side effects associated with treatment.

House visits

In most instances your pet will receive better treatment if it is brought to the surgery where we have the equipment, facilities and staff necessary to provide the best care. However, there are some cases when it may be preferable, for you or your pet, to provide treatment in your home. We will endeavour to come out to your house at your convenience where possible but we ask that you call the surgery in advance so we can arrange this around other duties. There may be occasions where, due to work load or staffing levels, an immediate house visit is not possible. There is an additional charge on top of the normal consultation fee and drug prices for a home visit. You will be provided with an estimate of fees when calling to book.

Out of hours care and hospitalisation

We have provisions in place to provide emergency care outside of our normal surgery hours. In most circumstances this will be provided by a third party, Vets Now Emergency Ltd based in Alfreton. Any fees incurred during the out of hours times will be payable directly to that third party. We do offer the ability to telephone one of our vets to discuss concerns prior to seeking emergency out of hours treatment in case advice is all that is required.

Occasionally animals may be hospitalised within the practice overnight for their owner’s convenience. We are not a veterinary hospital and the practice is not staffed 24 hours a day so there will be periods where the animal is unattended. Full details and potential alternative arrangements will be discussed prior to keeping an animal overnight. If an owner decides that hospitalisation overnight at Derwent Valley Vets is appropriate for their pet they must be aware of the risks of leaving an animal unattended. Precise arrangements for our emergency service are available in the practice, please feel free to discuss this with us further.

Liability

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 vets 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 Derwent Valley Vets Ltd.  Copies of the clinical history will be passed on by request to another veterinary surgeon should your pet need referral to a specialist or should you move surgeries. We never discuss or sell confidential records to any other third party.

Data protection

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 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. From time to time we may also use your contact details to provide you with information about new services or special offers offered by Derwent Valley Vets Ltd.

We comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 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 and payment of a £10 fee.

For further information see our privacy policy which is published on our website www.derwentvalleyvets.co.uk

Compliments, comments or complaints

Should you feel the need to contact us regarding any of the above, we will be pleased to hear from you.  We pride ourselves on offering a quality service, and take customer complaints seriously. Should we not meet your expectations on any aspect of our service, please let us know at the time where possible.

Alternatively, should you wish to raise a formal complaint, we ask that you contact the practice in person, by telephone or in writing within three months of the complaint event.

Alternatively, please feel free to email any feedback or complaints to

enquiries@derwentvalleyvets.co.uk.