Terms and Conditions

Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to St. Anne’s Veterinary Group.

These terms provide information on how we do business and if further clarification is required please ask.

Estimates of treatment cost

We will always give you an itemised estimate of costs when your pet is admitted for diagnostic procedures, hospitalisation or medical or surgical treatment. In an emergency situation this may not be appropriate. We will happily provide orally or in writing an estimate as to the probable costs of a course of ‘outpatient’ treatment, on request. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate as often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course. If your pet is admitted for hospitalisation or surgery we will try to contact you on the contact number provided if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate costs. If you are not contactable then we will treat your pet in the most appropriate way to prevent pain or suffering.

Fees

All professional fees, drug, diet and pet product charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time and skill requirement necessary for the care of your pet; the costs in providing this service; the supply costs of medicines, materials, consumables and diets used; and a contribution towards general overhead costs. Estimates of costs and details of fees are available on request. A detailed, itemised invoice is provided following each consultation or discharge from hospital. Please remember that 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.

Methods of payment

We require payment to be made at the end of each consultation, on discharge of your pet following hospitalisation or upon collection of medication or diet food. You may settle your account using cash, cheque or a Credit/Debit card – Switch, Solo, MasterCard, Visa and Delta. Clients using the ‘My visiting vet’ service will be expected to pay at the time of the consultation or service provision. Following a home visit you will be sent an invoice for the work carried out. If your pet is ‘put to sleep’ at the surgery, we do not expect payment at the time, but will send an invoice in due course.

Settlement terms

Should an account not be settled within 10 days, then a reminder letter will be sent requesting payment. Should it be necessary for a further reminder to be sent, an additional accounting fee will be levied in respect of the administrative costs incurred. This fee may be deducted if payment is made promptly. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and further charges will be added in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt.

Inability to pay

If, for any reason, you are unable to settle your account, we ask you to discuss the matter as soon as possible with a member of the administration staff who are trained to help you. Instalments or part payments can only be agreed with the express permission of the office staff and an administration fee will be levied for this service

Missed Appointment

We understand that bringing your pet to the vets is often not straight forward. If you find you cannot attend for an appointment, please telephone the surgery on 640011 so that we can use your appointment for someone else’s pet. If appointments are repeatedly missed without cancellation, we reserve the right to make a charge.

Pet aid

If you are in receipt of benefit and have problems meeting the costs of veterinary treatment, you may be eligible for charitable help. The PDSA operates a ‘Pet aid’ scheme to assist people on low incomes and this is supported by the practice. If you meet both the PDSA and St. Anne’s criteria for inclusion under the scheme, we will receive a small monthly sum from the PDSA, and in return provide you with any necessary veterinary treatment for illness or injury. Please telephone Eastbourne 640011 for advice.

Pet health insurance

The increasing costs associated with providing veterinary care, and advances in the scope and availability of veterinary services have made pet health insurance a sensible option. At St. Anne’s we strongly recommend that you insure your pet against accidents and illness. With the backing of a good pet insurance policy, you will have access to a wider range of options when your pet is injured or unwell. This will allow us to provide the best of care, no matter what the cost. Please also remember that you are legally responsible for any damage caused by your dog to any third party (for example by causing a road accident). Pet insurance will cover this liability whereas most ‘household’ policies now exclude it.

Pet insurance is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. St Anne's Veterinary Group is an appointed representative of Petplan. We recommend Petplan because they have many years experience of the veterinary insurance market and produce a good range of policies and offer a good level of service. We would recommend a policy that provides continuous cover for ongoing conditions for the life of your pet. Try to avoid policies that will only cover a condition for 12 months, as many chronic conditions will last much longer than this leave you effectively uninsured. A good policy will also review excluded conditions such that they will be covered again once the condition is cured. You should also consider the level of cover for dental disease, prescription diet food, behaviour problems and euthanasia.Please remember that it is your responsibility to settle our account with us and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company. At the end of a course of treatment we ask that you provide us with an insurance claim form and a stamped addressed envelope. We will complete our part of the form and return it to you for checking and despatch to the insurance company. We also advise you to make a copy for your records. In exceptional circumstances if the costs are large we will arrange for the insurance company to settle the account directly with us, but this will incur an additional administration fee. In this case we will require proof of a valid insurance at the beginning of treatment. We do not currently charge for completing insurance fees for owners.

Supply of prescription only medicines – veterinary (POM-V)

In common with most veterinary practices, St. Anne’s Veterinary Group aims to supply all medicines that you will need to maintain your pet’s health and to treat your pet if they are unwell. We stock a wide range of veterinary medicinal products that we are able to provide immediately at the time of consultation for your convenience.
If you wish to obtain Veterinary Medicines elsewhere, prescriptions are available.

Please remember that a prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is hospitalised or if immediate treatment is necessary. Please ask for the current price of a prescription.
Prescription Only Medicines – Veterinarian (POM-V) can only be prescribed by your veterinary surgeon following a clinical assessment of an animal under his or her care. Such medicines can only be supplied without examination once a decision has been made to supply the product as a permanent prescription. Patients on long term medication will need to be seen at regular intervals in order to monitor the condition and the need for ongoing medication. It is the policy of this practice to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions or supplies of POM-V medicines at least every THREE months. The standard charge for this quarterly check is the equivalent of half our standard consultation fee. We know that this regular prescription consultation is in the best interest of the pet and costs clients the same as a twice yearly consultation. All medicines have the potential to produce side effects in our pets, which sometimes may be serious.

Regular monitoring allows problems to be detected early and the medications stopped or changed; drug dosages and combinations can also be altered as the patients condition alters. Regular examinations also allow us to develop a relationship with you and your pet and an understanding of their condition. This helps to detect small changes in a condition. Prescription consultations give you the opportunity to discuss points of concern with your vet for a smaller than normal fee. Please remember that the prescription consultation is designed to monitor an ongoing condition and when other unrelated conditions are treated, a full consultation will be charged.

For repeat supplies of permanent medications within the three month period following a clinical assessment, we do request that you give us 48 hours notice in order that we can guarantee your pets’ medicine will be available for collection.
You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your animal.

Specialist referrals

In modern veterinary practice there is increasing availability of more specialised expertise and equipment. At St. Anne’s we regularly employ the services of referral centres to perform investigations or surgical treatments of more complex or serious disorders. In most cases the individual veterinary surgeon dealing with your pet’s problem will advise you when it is appropriate, necessary or advisable to refer you to a specialist. Please speak to the veterinary surgeon concerned if you wish your dog to see a specialist.

Data protection

The data protection act gives you the right of access to any personal data that we hold on payment of an administration charge. Please telephone Eastbourne 640011 for further information.

Medical records

The veterinary surgeon/client relationship is founded on trust. In normal circumstances we will not disclose any information we hold on you or your pet to any third party without your clear permission. Permission to give information to an insurance company is implied if you give us a claim form to complete; similarly if you register with another veterinary surgeon, permission to pass on previous medical records is implied unless you instruct us otherwise. Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of and will be retained by the St. Anne’s Veterinary Group.
At your request, we will provide you with copies of relevant clinical records but this may incur an administration charge. Please telephone Eastbourne 640011 for further information.

Second opinions

If you are disappointed at the progress your pet is making while under treatment at St. Anne’s it is your right to seek a second opinion. It is in your pet’s best interest that you discuss your concerns with your veterinary surgeon. He or she will be in the best position to recommend whose opinion to seek. Ideally we would wish you to see another of our vets, or to refer you to a specialist. If you wish to see a different local veterinary surgeon you are free to make an appointment and we will provide all relevant clinical information when requested.

Complaints

If you have any complaint about any of our services we would encourage you to let us know as soon as possible so that action can be taken quickly to remedy the situation. If any problem cannot be resolved at the time, we ask that you make a formal complaint, in writing, to one of the partners. We will endeavour to resolve the complaint as quickly as possible to your satisfaction. If you are still unhappy then you should take your complaint to our regulatory body, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

RCVS
Belgravia House
62-64 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 2AF
tel  020 7222 2001
e-mail  admin@rcvs.org.uk