Practice terms & conditions
Terms and Conditions of Business
We, Best Friends Vets Ltd, www.bestfriendsvets.co.uk, aim to provide the highest standards of veterinary care. These are the terms on which we, Best Friends Vets Limited supply veterinary services and related products to you in accordance with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate
These Terms and Conditions shall apply to all supplies of Veterinary Services and Products by us to you to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions. Please note that some aspects of these Terms may not be relevant to you and we suggest you ask for further clarification from us if required.
Handling of Animals
Our patients rarely relish a visit to the vet! Therefore, in the interest of minimizing their distress, we request you observe the following:
· Cats must be brought to the surgery in a suitable, secure carrier
· Dogs must be controlled on a short lead and collar
· Small animals must be contained in a suitable, secure carrier
If you believe your dog is aggressive to other dogs or humans, you must inform the practice. This way we can try and make arrangements for you
to visit the surgery when it is likely to be quiet.
Staff and Practice Policy
We endeavour to treat you with courtesy and respect in all situation and expect the same in return. We will ensure that a range of reasonable treatment options is offered and explained, including prognosis and possible side effects.
We will give realistic fee estimates based on treatment options. We will keep you informed of progress and of any escalations of costs once treatment has started.
We value your privacy and want to be clear about the data we collect, how we use it and your rights to control that information. Please refer to our Privacy Statement on our website.
Treatment and Procedures
We will always make animal welfare our first consideration in seeking to provide the most appropriate attention for the animals committed to our care. We will ensure that all animals under our care are treated humanely and with respect. Diagnosis and treatment will be discussed with you and a course of action agreed.
You have the right to refuse a course of treatment, except in circumstances where to do so would be in breach of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 which states that you must prevent suffering and alleviate pain adequately in an animal under your care. In practical terms this means that the veterinary surgeon can insist on administering pain killers and other first aid measures.
The practice may require you to give written indication of your refusal to allow a recommended treatment to comply with our indemnity insurance. The veterinary surgeons employed in this practice are covered by a suitable indemnity insurance.
Refusal of Treatment
The practice reserves the right not to treat an animal if to do so:
· would be detrimental to the patient
· would be considered unethical or in breach of RCVS recommendations
The practice reserves the right to restrict treatment to first aid and immediate relief of pain for the patient where:
· the patient cannot be suitably & safely restrained and thereby presents a danger to staff or other clients.
· the client has an outstanding account that has not been settled after reasonable opportunity to do so.
· the practice has reason to believe that the patient is simultaneously receiving treatment from another veterinary surgeon and we have no clinical history.
Every attempt will be made to avoid such a restriction from being enforced.
Out of Hours Service
Best Friends Vets Limited contracts its out-of-hours service to Emergency Vet Care Limited, based at North Road, Poole. This 24-hour service can be accessed once our clinic is closed by telephoning our usual clinic number. Animals which are hospitalised at Best Friends Vets Limited and require continuous monitoring will be transferred to the Emergency Vet Care premises. In this circumstance you are responsible for arranging transport to the referral centre. Out-of-hours small animal emergency cases are seen at the Emergency Vet Care premises. You will be expected to transport your pet to their surgery for treatment.
Pet Health Plans
At Best Friends Vets we provide a monthly payment plan to spread the costs of day to day preventative health for your pet over 12 months. These monthly plans include all vaccinations, comprehensive internal and external parasite control and two health checks each year for each pet. Please ask for details of how to enrol.
Supply of Veterinary Services
We shall ensure that all Veterinary Services are supplied by suitably qualified staff, taking into account the nature of the Veterinary Service to be supplied in each instance.
Wherever practicable and on your request, a treatment plan for the supply of Veterinary Services will normally be agreed with you following an initial consultation and in advance of any further treatment. This treatment plan will provide an estimate regarding the likely costs of the course of treatment in such plan. In an emergency we reserve the right to provide such Veterinary Services as are reasonably necessary, in the professional judgement of the veterinary surgeon providing the Veterinary Services or other BFV staff, without first agreeing a treatment plan.
Please note that any estimate given can only be an approximation of the costs of any treatment required. If our original estimate looks as if it will be exceeded, then the Veterinary Surgeon responsible for providing the Veterinary Services will discuss any increased fees with you before any further procedures are undertaken (save in the event of an emergency and at the professional discretion of the relevant Veterinary Surgeon acting in the best interest of your pet).
We will endeavour to provide veterinary services in accordance with reasonable standards denoted by the RCVS guidelines for practice standards (www.rcvs.org.uk) and the professional conduct of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses. All Veterinary Services shall be supplied in accordance with normal professional standards.
Veterinary Services shall be supplied during our normal business hours (these may change from time to time, the current opening hours of Best Friends Vets can be found on www.bestfriendsvets.co.uk. At our discretion we may arrange for Veterinary Services to be supplied at various locations and at other times. In an emergency a veterinary surgeon will see you outside these opening hours, but this service will carry an extra charge.
We reserve the right to decline to supply Veterinary Services at our discretion. You are free at all times at your cost and subject to the payment obligations in these terms and conditions, to seek a second opinion on or concerning any Veterinary Services provided.
Supply of Products
In the event of any defect or failure in any Product our liability to you shall be restricted to replacing the Product or refunding the price paid by you for the Product.
You acknowledge and agree that all Products must only be used in accordance with the instructions supplied with them or issued orally by the Veterinary Surgeon providing the Veterinary Services or other of our staff. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the use of any Product, you should consult the Veterinary Surgeon providing the Veterinary Services or other of our staff for clarification.
Any Products supplied by us shall be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose expressly agreed by the Veterinary Surgeon providing the Veterinary Services or other of our staff and shall comply with any description given. All other warranties, expressed or implied, are hereby excluded.
All Veterinary Services and Products provided by us shall be charged to you in accordance with our then current price list, a copy of which is available on request and which is subject to change without notice. If you have any question as regards the level of charge that will be incurred you should consult the Veterinary Surgeon in charge of your pet’s treatment or his staff for clarification.
Our normal practice is for payment to be made by you at the time the Veterinary Services or the Products are supplied, either at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of the Products. All invoices must be settled in full on receipt of the invoice. We may at our absolute discretion agree that you may delay payment of an invoice pending recovery of the sum from your insurer for such reasonable period as we may agree in writing. You remain liable in full for all invoices and all sums shall become due and payable in full by you at the end of this extended payment period irrespective of whether your insurer has made payment to you.
We accept direct insurance claims at the discretion of our Practice Manager. A direct insurance claim is one where you do not pay us; rather we claim the money directly from the insurance company. In the event that all or any part of the insurance claim is not paid by your insurance company for any reason you will be liable for the outstanding balance.
We may refer overdue accounts to our debt collection agency.
In the event that any invoice or other sum owed is not paid when due then, without prejudice to any other remedies available to us:
a 2.5% surcharge is added to outstanding accounts over 60 days and every 30 days thereafter. In order to recover fees incurred by debt collection other reasonable fees may be added to recover costs incurred as they arise;
we may charge an additional fee in respect of administrative costs incurred; and we may issue notice to you that no further Veterinary Services and/or Products will be supplied to you.
All prices quoted are quoted inclusive of value added tax or other indirect taxes, duties or levies which shall be added as appropriate.
If you are unable to pay for the Veterinary Services we are only obliged to fulfil our minimum legal responsibilities and professional obligations in respect of your pet.
Liability Terms and Conditions of Business
We carry professional indemnity insurance in the sum of £100,000.00 (“Insured Sum”) for any single claim. We supply Veterinary Services and Products to you on the condition that our liability for any loss, claim, cost or expense arising out said supply shall not exceed and shall be limited to a maximum of the Insured Sum.
If you wish us to assume a level of liability greater than the Insured Sum then we shall so agree on condition that:
you so request in writing; and
we are able to obtain insurance cover for said higher level of liability; and
that you pay in advance to us the additional premium incurred by us in respect of the additional cover.
Nothing in these terms and conditions shall:
exclude or limit our liability for death or personal injury caused to a human being;
render us liable for any indirect or consequential loss (including, but not restricted to, loss of profit or loss of savings) which liability shall be excluded to the maximum extent permitted by law.
It is our intention that all our clients should be satisfied with the Veterinary Services and any Products supplied. In the event that you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the Veterinary Services or Products supplied by us or its staff, in the first instance you should contact the Clinical Director or Practice Manager to discuss your concerns who shall endeavour to address any issues arising.
If you remain dissatisfied, then please refer to our complaints policy, we can provide you with further details at the practice or on our website.
We may advocate pet insurance, but any contract of insurance is between you and your insurer. Please ensure that you refer to the terms and conditions of your insurance policy.
Case Records, Radiographs and Similar
Case records and similar records are the property of Best Friends Vets Limited, and will be retained by us. On request, copies, with a summary of the history, will be passed directly to another veterinary surgeon giving a second opinion. Radiographs and results of all other tests we have performed remain the property of Best Friends Vets Limited, even though we have raised an invoice for undertaking and interpreting these procedures. The results will be passed directly to another veterinary surgeon if a second opinion is sought.
Prescriptions are available for any Prescription Only Medicine (POM-V, POM-VPS or NFA-VPS) required to treat any animal under our care. These medicines may be obtained from us or you may request a written prescription to obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacist or merchant. An additional fee is charged for a written veterinary prescription. Consultation fees will apply in either case. Please refer to the notice in reception. Prescriptions for POM-V medicines may be repeated at our discretion, to animals under our care, after a clinical assessment of the case. Regular check-ups are required, at intervals of no more than every 6 months. POM-V medicines may be dispensed in amounts sufficient for up to 3 months treatment, at our discretion. Variations may apply according to our clinical assessment of the case.
Variation in Terms of Trading
No alteration may be made to these terms and conditions without our express written consent. We may update or amend these terms and conditions at any time by placing a notice to that effect in our premises.
These terms and conditions shall be governed by English Law and we and you submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts, without prejudice to our right to seek recovery of any sum due by you before any complaint court. No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the company unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by Stefan Radermacher, the Veterinary Director. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, Best Friends Vets Limited has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.