Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to Orchard Vets. Some aspects of these Terms & Conditions may not be relevant to you, please ask a member of staff for further explanation / clarification if required.
Fees and payment
To help our business run smoothly and keep costs down we ask that payment is made at the time of consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diets. All fees, diets and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Any fee is available on request and copies of our fee list are posted throughout the practice, we are happy to discuss cost at any time. A detailed itemised breakdown for every consultation is available on request. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet even if your pet is brought to us on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent. We accept cash and most types credit cards. Cheques maybe accepted only if you have a valid business account with us.
Estimates of cost of treatment
We will happily provide a written estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate can only be approximate, often a pet’s illness will not follow a predictable course. We will try to contact you on the contact numbers you have provided if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate costs. If you are not contactable we may not be able to carry out additional, essential procedures although we will treat your pet as is necessary for the prevention of pain or suffering.
Pet health insurance
Orchard Vets strongly supports the principle of pet insurance. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle our account and then reclaim the fees from your Insurance Company. We are happy to process claims free of charge but are unable to negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf. Additional reports and correspondence including so-called estimate invoices or pro-forma forms requested by you or your insurance company will however be chargeable.
Terms of business
Full payment of invoices is to be made at the time of transaction. Should it be necessary for reminders to be sent, additional charges in respect of debt administration costs and interest will be incurred. Reminders are sent out at fortnightly intervals. 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. We understand and will exercise our statutory right to claim interest and compensation for debt recovery costs if we are not paid according to agreed terms. Compound interest is charged on that gross balance outstanding. No VAT is charged or paid on interest and debt administration charges. We reserve the right to suspend our provision of services without notice if payment is not received by the required date. Any cheques 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 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 we DO NOT offer credit. Instalments or part payments of any account in cases of genuine hardship may ONLY be sanctioned with the express, written permission of a partner and may incur interest charges.
Complaints and standards
We are committed to working to the highest standards of customer care and clinical quality. We hope that you never have recourse to complain about the standards of service we offer however we realise that things don’t always go to plan and there may be occasions when you feel your expectations were not met. We hope that before you complain you will give the practice a chance to put things right. Most problems can be sorted easily and quickly, often at the time. 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 promptly, in writing. An acknowledgement letter will be sent once your formal complaint has been received.
Ownership of records, X-rays and similar documents
Case records and similar documents are the property of Orchard Vets and shall be retained by the practice. Copies will be passed, on request, to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case. The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations for example taking x-rays or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record for example a radiograph remains with the practice. Client data held by orchard vets is NOT shared with any external organisations or individual with the exception of for legal purposes, referrals and/or if requested by other veterinary practices.
It is illegal to supply prescription only medicines to animals which are not under our care by law. This means that we may need to see an animal before dispensing some repeat prescriptions. Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, category V, (POM Vs) from your veterinary surgeon OR ask for a written prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary. You will be informed on request, of the price of any medication that may be prescribed for your pet. The general policy of this practice for repeat prescriptions is for animals to be re-assessed regularly and the frequency will be determined by the condition. The standard charge for a re-examination is the prevailing price of a consultation fee. We reserve the right to charge for prescriptions.
Provision of care
For us to provide veterinary care, and in all but exceptional circumstances, you are responsible for transporting your pets to the practice where the vet has access to a full range of equipment and medicines. This includes emergency situations.
Provision of out of hours care
Orchard Vets Glastonbury Ltd provides a 24/7 emergency service and you will see one of our own vets at our own premises should your pet require emergency treatment outside of normal office hours. Hospitalised patients are monitored in accordance with their clinical needs, i.e. patients are checked regularly, but a vet is not necessarily in continual attendance unless the needs of the patient require this.
Registering with Orchard Vets
Please be aware that when you complete your registration application online or register in person, we have a process to follow requiring us to obtain records from any existing vets and therefore you are not automatically deemed as registered with the practice.
We reserve the right to refuse applications.
No addition to, or variation of, these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by a partner. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary in any way these conditions.