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Terms of Business – June 2016



Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery. The following information sets out our Practice Terms and Conditions of business. Some aspects of the Terms may not be relevant to you. Please ask for further clarification or explanation if required.

At Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery we have been inspected and accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to Tier 2 status. This ensures that you can be confident that the service we provide meets all the requirements of membership of the RCVS.



Fees


All fees, drugs and diet charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case, in addition to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. A written fee list can be supplied upon request.  You will receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us. All costs incurred for treatment of one of your pets whether given by you, or an agent acting on your behalf, will remain your responsibility.


Missed appointments are charged at £15.00 per appointment, unless 24 hours notice is given. This is at our discretion.


Sometimes we will need to put in a special order for your items from our supplier. Unfortunately these items cannot be returned, therefore, if they are not collected, or you change your mind, they will still be charged to your account.



Methods of Payment


Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diets. You may settle the account using:



Estimates of Treatment Costs


We will happily provide a written estimate for the probable costs of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate - a pet’s illness will not always follow a conventional course and unforeseen circumstances may arise that we will need to charge for. We will at all times attempt to contact you before additional costs are incurred.



Settlement Terms


All accounts should be settled in full at the time of treatment, surgery or purchase of goods. In the event of non-payment, an invoice will be sent asking for payment within 7 days. If it is necessary for further reminders to be sent, notice will be given to you the client that the overdue accounts will be referred to our Debt Collection Agency, at which time further charges amounting to 25% of the outstanding amount, will be levied to cover the costs incurred in collecting the debt. These costs may include the 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 account being restored to the original sum with further charges 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 installments or part-payments of any account may ONLY be sanctioned with the express permission of Mr. Stephen Tushingham, Senior Vet.



Pet Health Insurance


Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. In circumstances where the total bill is over £300 we are prepared to put a direct claim to the insurance company but need to see your policy documents first, for any claim under this amount the client should settle in full at the time of treatment and claim themselves from their Insurer for reimbursement (if for any reason a direct claim for less than £300 is made a £25 administration fee will be charged).


PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT DEAL DIRECT WITH E&L INSURANCE


Even if your pet is insured, responsibility for payment of fees remains with you and in the event of non-payment by an insurer you will remain liable for the outstanding amount.



Opening Hours and Out of Hours Service


Our Cirencester surgery is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 6.00pm and on Saturdays 9.00am to 11.00am. Surgeries are run by appointment so please telephone to book.


Our Tetbury Surgery is also open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 6.00pm and on Saturday 12.00am to 12.30pm. Again please book an appointmet.


Our South Cerney surgery runs open clinics but we recommend phoning to prevent waiting if we are busy. Please call for opening hours.


If you need to see a vet when we are closed please telephone our usual number 01285 653683. The answering message will give you contact details for our specialist emergency service at Vets Now Referrals in Swindon.


If your pet needs to be hospitalised overnight at our Cirencester surgery he/she will be checked on a regular basis as deemed necessary by the Vet in charge of the case. Minimum checks are performed in all cases at 6pm, 10.30pm and 8.30am the following morning.



Ownership of Records and Case Histories


All treatments, examinations and financial records are recorded on our dedicated practice management computer system. If your pet has received care at another veterinary practice we are obliged by RCVS guidelines to obtain a copy of these records to ensure continued safe treatment for your pet.


Veterinary care often involves specific investigations such as taking radiographs and scans. Even though we make a charge for performing these investigations and interpreting the results, ownership of the resulting record, e.g. radiograph, together with all case notes remains with the practice.



Prescriptions


Many of the drugs used to treat your pet are classed as Prescription Only Medicines and as such can only be provided if your animal is under the care of our vets. This means that in most instances your pet will need to have been examined immediately prior to the medication being dispensed.


Repeat prescriptions will require 24 hours notice so we can ensure we have them in stock. Where repeat prescriptions are provided for long term conditions your pet will still need to see the vet at least every 6 months, possibly more frequently depending on condition, to re-assess the safety and efficacy of the treatment. Repeat prescription consultations are charged at a reduced rate.


Most modern effective flea and worm treatments are also now only available on prescription. They therefore still require your pet to have been examined by one of our vets every 6 months however for these products only we are happy to provide a free of charge consultation.


Whilst under our care it may occasionally be necessary to use medicines not specifically authorised (i.e. licensed) for treatment f the species of your pet but that are justified clinically. In these circumstances you will be made aware of and asked to accept that there may be unknown side effects associated with the use of such treatments.


Rather than purchases medications directly from the surgery you are entitled to ask for a written prescription that you can take to be fulfilled elsewhere. We still need to have examined your pet within the last 6 months to be able to supply a written prescription. We make a charge for a written prescription of £10 for the first item and £7.50 for subsequent items on the same prescription. We can only provide 3 months treatment per prescription.



Complaints and Standards


We hope that you never have recourse to complain about the standards of service received from Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to complain about, please direct your comments in the first instance to Mr. Stephen Tushingham, Senior Vet.


We have a comprehensive complaints procedure at Ashcroft, which helps us to deal with all complaints quickly and effectively. We value client feedback, and aim to resolve all complaints within the Practice.


If you feel that you have not received satisfactory service, and that your complaint has not been resolved, you may wish to ask for a copy of our How to make a complaint leaflet..



No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the Practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the Practice Owner. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the Practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.


(April 2017)


SR & HE Tushingham Ltd T/A Ashcroft Veterinary Surgery

Reg Office 302  Cirencester Business Park, Love Lane, Cirencester GL7 1XD

Reg BusinessNo 06720546