Terms & Conditions
Most importantly, thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to Fairfield Veterinary Centre. It is important to have clearly laid out the terms on which we operate and the way we expect to do business. Some aspects of the Terms may not be relevant to you and we request that you ask for further explanation/clarification if required.
Emails are intended only for the addressee and the contents should not be disclosed to other persons nor copies taken. If emails have been received in error, please delete them and notify the sender. Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the sender and do not necessarily represent those of any company or organisation unless otherwise specifically stated. As internet communications are not secure, no legal responsibility is accepted for the contents of any messages, nor responsibility for any changes made to messages being sent by the original sender. Whilst our mail is scanned, recipients should carry out their own virus check before opening any attachment as no liability is accepted for and damage sustained as a result of any action of any software viruses or similar code. Incoming and outgoing mail may be monitored to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.
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. Fees will also have a contribution towards the general overhead costs. Any fee is available on request. A detailed itemised breakdown for every transaction is provided at the time. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet even if your pet is brought to us on behalf by a relative, friend or agent.
3. Methods of Payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of medicines/diets. You may settle the account using cash or a debit/credit card. We do not accept American express credit cards.
4. Estimates of Treatment Costs
We provide a printed estimate of the costs of any procedure. Your signed agreement, or that of a responsible adult acting as your agent, will be required prior to any procedure being commenced. Occasionally a verbal agreement may be acceptable. A deposit may be required prior to embarking on a procedure. 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 number you have given us if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate given. However, if you are not contactable, we will treat your pet in what we feel is their best interests and your agreement to this is implicit on admission. It is your responsibility to ensure that a responsible adult is available on the contact phone number you provide.
5. 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 the Practice Principal. It is a requirement that a formal “Acknowledgement of Debt” form is signed at the time.
6. Settlement Terms
In the rare event that full payment is not made at the time, an invoice will be sent at approximately 14 days after your appointment. Should it be necessary for further invoices to be sent, charges will be incurred. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and progressed through the court system. This may seriously affect your credit rating.
7. Responsible Pet Ownership
All of us at Fairfield Veterinary Centre believe in responsible pet ownership. This includes regular appropriate vaccinations, monthly worming for cats and dogs, regular flea control and a permanent means of identification for your pet. Whilst we may offer advice on these subjects – we will usually recommend you seek the advice of your own veterinary surgeon as different local areas may have different needs.
8. Pet Health Insurance
We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents and recommend that you seek advice of your own veterinary surgeon on brands. Pet Health Insurance may be used to cover some of the treatments we provide. However, our contract is with you, the owner, not with the insurance company. Please be aware that is your responsibility to settle your account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company. We routinely aim to process your claim forms within 15 working days- we do not charge for this service.
9. Direct Insurance Claims
Very occasionally we might carry out a Direct Claim, where the insurance company pays us directly, again a small charge is made for this service. Fairfield Veterinary Centre will seek confirmation that the insurance policy is valid and still in force prior to agreeing a Direct Claim. Where Direct Claims are made a deposit to cover the costs of excess, or any treatments that may be excluded from the claim is required. In addition, should the amount paid fall short of the invoiced amount it is the owner’s responsibility to clear the account with us. We will assist, where we can, with providing information to the insurance company to help the owners reclaim appropriate fees – but we obviously cannot guarantee the payment from the insurance company. Where a deposit exceeds the amount withheld by the insurance company we will either credit an owners account - or refund the balance as the owner wishes.
10. Ownership of Records
Case records including radiographs, ECG’s, ultrasound images, and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Fairfield Veterinary Centre. The fees paid relate to the undertaking and interpretation of these investigations. Upon request the case records may be passed to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case (see Data Protection below).
11. Data Protection
The new regulations mean that you have rights about the data we hold. On your request, regarding these rights, we will act as promptly as possible to take action, but no later than 28 days from receipt of the request.
These rights are –
- The right to be informed, about the collection and use of your personal data.
- The right of access, on request we will provide you with a copy of the information we hold about you.
- The right to rectification: you have the right to require us to update your personal information.
- The right to erasure; you have the right to be forgotten or removed from our systems.
- The right to restrict processing; you have the right to request that we continue to hold your data but prevent us from processing it.
- The right to data portability; you have the right to request your information in a portable fashion.
- The right to object; you have the right to object to us processing your data.
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling; you will be informed if automated decision making will be used and have the right to object it.
In addition to radiographs etc., video or photographic images of patients and lesions may be obtained. These images may be used for veterinary or public education, or for the promotion of the practice. All images may be used in both printed and electronic media. All rights to the use of any of the images remain with the practice.
13. Prescription Policy
Prescriptions are available from Fairfield Veterinary Centre. You may obtain a Prescription Only Medicines, category V, (POM-Vs) from your veterinary surgeon. Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM-V’s only for animals under his/her care. A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an inpatient or immediate treatment is necessary. A charge will normally be made for providing a prescription – this will cover the costs of administration, choosing an appropriate medication, reviewing the previous history of the patient, recording details of the prescription on the history, writing the prescription and recording the details on the standard BVA format.
14. Complaints and Standards
Fairfield Veterinary Centre 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 were not met. We hope that before you complain you will give us chance to put things 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. An acknowledgment letter will be sent, usually in 10 working days of your formal complaint being received. This will detail the name of the person handling your complaint and the estimated timeline for any investigation and response. In the event that you do not feel satisfied with our attempts at resolution you are entitled to contact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (www.rcvs.org.uk) and to follow their complaints procedure.
15. Zero Tolerance
Fairfield Veterinary Centre has a “zero tolerance” policy regarding violence, or threats of violence and abuse. We do not tolerate discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, mental or physical disability, religious or sexual preferences.
Fairfield Veterinary centre may contact you either by letter, phone, text or electronic means in order to advise you of outstanding accounts, reminders of your pets follow up care treatments and any marketing offers that might be of benefit to you or your pet. Please tell the staff if you do not wish to be contacted.