Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd

Terms and Conditions of Business

Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your animal(s) to Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd. This information details our Business Terms and Conditions. Certain aspects of the Terms may not be relevant to you and we suggest that you ask for further explanation/clarification if required.

Appointments and Consultations

Clients and their animals are attended to by veterinary surgeons and nurses during consulting hours by appointment only. Appointments are available in the morning, afternoon and early evening at times which can vary according to the day of the week so please contact our reception by contacting the practice during normal working hours – 8.45am-6pm Mon-Fri. Emergencies during normal opening hours will always be seen as soon as possible but clients are asked to telephone the practice for immediate advice and to tell us that you are on your way.

Clients who fail to bring their animal in for a pre-arranged appointment may be charged £15. Clients who cancel a large animal or equine visit after the vet has left the surgery will be charged their usual visit charge.

Emergency Out-of-Hours Service

We operate our own emergency out-of-hours service which is available for emergencies only and the vet will always be one of our own. This emergency service can be accessed by telephoning the normal practice number and the call will be diverted to the duty vet’s mobile phone. The emergency out-of-hours services will be arranged by the duty vet as necessary.

Please note that this service is for emergency care only. Clients should be aware that we often consider it in the best interests of the injured/sick animal to be seen at the practice rather than at home so that we may provide effective and rapid treatment as necessary. Routine cases or questions should be addressed during normal hours.

Professional Fees and Charges

All fees, diets and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined on the basis of the expertise required, the time spent on a case and the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. You will receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, diagnostic, medical, surgical or other procedure, service or product. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet even if your pet is brought in on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent.

Estimates

We will happily provide a written estimate as to the probable costs of a procedure or course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate, as an animal’s treatment may need to reflect a change in the animal’s medical requirements, which cannot always be predetermined. We aim to keep our clients fully informed of any such changes. For in-patient procedures and services, practice consent forms make it clear that there may be circumstances where additional work may be required in the course of further investigation or treatment. Clients are asked to ensure that their contact details are up-to-date and that they are readily available to be contacted by the practice in the event that any significant alteration to the planned procedure proves to be necessary. In exceptional circumstances treatment to prevent pain or suffering may need to be administered before an owner can be informed.

Methods of Payment

  • Cash
  • Cheque payable to Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd and supported by a valid bank card
  • Credit/debit card – Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or Solo. Card payment by telephone is possible within normal surgery hours. We are unable to accept American Express.
  • BACS, internet banking and standing orders. Our bank details are Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd, sort code 80-16-22, account number 10080467

Settlement Terms

  • Pet owners: pet animal invoices are due for settlement in full at the end of a consultation, on collection of your animal from the practice or when picking up medication or food. On occasion when we incur costs on your behalf, such as tests performed at specialist laboratories, these may be invoiced to you at a later date and will be payable within 7 days of invoicing. Invoices outstanding after 7 days may be liable to a surcharge of £10, which will thereafter be levied monthly. Outstanding invoices may be referred to our Debt Collection Agency or the County/Sheriff Courts, if satisfactory repayment arrangements have not been made with us. Further costs and interest incurred whilst collecting the debt will also be the responsibility of the client. Any cheque issued which is returned unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured or any cash tendered which is found to be counterfeit will result in the client’s account being restored to the original sum, with the addition of any fees incurred in collection.
  • Horse owners: equine charges not paid at the time are due for settlement within 30 days of invoicing. Invoices outstanding after 30 days will be liable to a monthly surcharge of £7.50. Outstanding invoices may be referred to our Debt Collection Agency or the County/Sheriff Courts, if satisfactory repayment arrangements have not been made with us. Further costs and interest incurred whilst collecting the debt will also be the responsibility of the client. Any cheque issued which is returned unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured or any cash tendered which is found to be counterfeit will result in the client’s account being restored to the original sum, with the addition of any fees incurred in collection.
  • Business accounts: business accounts are due for settlement within 30 days of invoicing. Invoices outstanding after 30 days will be liable to interest, compensation charges and reasonable costs under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998.

Inability to Pay

The practice welcomes forewarning of genuine inability to pay for our services or products. If you find yourself in such a position, please discuss this matter with a member of staff before treatment is undertaken and any costs incurred. We will be sympathetic to, and endeavour to assist, clients with genuine financial difficulties by for example arranging individual payment terms, however, this can only be sanctioned with the prior permission of a director.

Responsible pet ownership and pet health insurance

Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd believes in responsible pet ownership. This includes regular appropriate vaccinations, preventative health care and identification for your pet/s. Please ask us for advice on how best to achieve this. We also strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.

Prescription PolicyComplaints and Standards

Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd is committed to providing an exceptional standard of service and care. We realise, however, that things can go wrong and that there may be occasions when you feel your expectations are not met. We hope that if this is the case you will give the practice a 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 within 30 days. An acknowledgement letter will be sent once your formal complaint has been received. This will detail the name of the person handling your complaint about the standards of service received from Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd.

Ownership of Records

Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd, and will normally be retained for a minimum period of 7 years. Subject to the client’s agreement, a copy of the patients’ clinical history will be made available to another veterinary practice at the request of a veterinary surgeon whose professional advice is being sought on a second opinion or other basis.

The care given to your pet may involve a number of diagnostic or other investigations such as radiography or ultrasound scans. Professional charges are made for these services and interpreting the results but the resulting records remains the property of the practice.

Client Data – Privacy Notice

The purpose for requesting and processing client data (including full contact details) is in the provision of veterinary healthcare (both preventative and emergency) for the animal(s) that they own or are responsible for. The legal bases for this are contractual fulfilment and legitimate interests. The provision of personal data is a contractual requirement before using the services of the practice. Clients should keep the practice updated with respect to any changes to their personal data as the practice cannot accept responsibility for failing to fulfil its contractual obligations if this is found to be due to out of date personal details. As data controller Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd., 1 Earl Street, Hawick, TD9 9PZ takes legal responsibility for compliance to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Data will be stored for as long as the client is active (has used the services of the practice within the past 12 months) and for a maximum of 7 years thereafter.

The legitimate interests for requesting and processing client data include:

  • Preventative and emergency veterinary healthcare
  • Sending tests to outside laboratories
  • Referral of cases to specialist service providers
  • Processing insurance claims
  • Facilitating services of pet cremation providers
  • Processing payment for services we provide
  • Text and email messaging services: vaccine reminders, practice updates and news.

Clients have the right to object to their personal data being processed by the practice at any time by writing to: Hawick Veterinary Practice Ltd., 1 Earl Street, Hawick, TD9 9PZ. Please note that by objecting you will be withdrawing from the contract between you and the practice and as such the practice will no longer consider you as an active client. In closing your account you will be expected to pay any outstanding balance as per our terms set out above.

The practice will endeavour to apply the GDPR throughout its business activities, however if you feel the need to complain we hope in the first instance this would be directed to a member of the practice which we think will resolve most issues and if not please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, 45 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7HL.

Variations in Terms of Trading

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