The Vet Whetstone – Terms & Conditions
We reserve the right to make changes to our Terms and Conditions without prior notice at any future time. Changes to our Terms and Conditions will be available to be seen at Reception as well as on our Website.
Our commitment to you
We endeavour to provide you with the highest standard of care for your pet. We believe in the principle of responsible pet ownership and the benefits of preventative healthcare which includes regular appropriate vaccinations and regular flea and worming control for dogs, cats and rabbits and we advise microchipping as the best way to permanently identify your pet.
The Vet Whetstone will hold and use your data strictly in accordance with UK data protection legislation. We will only share your data with your permission and in the interests of providing you with a service you have requested specifically or in relation to the treatment of your animal. Examples of third parties with whom we may share your data include your pet’s insurance company, external laboratories, veterinary referral centres and other veterinary practices where second opinions have been requested.
Patient records are the property of The Vet Whetstone, but you are able at any stage to request a summary of your pet’s clinical history by giving us adequate 36 hours’ written notice. The practice reserves the right to make a charge to cover the cost of producing these records. The charge will be notified to you at the time of the request, or as soon as reasonably feasible thereafter. No charge is made when transferring clinical notes to another veterinary surgery. Ownership of patient records other than clinical notes – The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example, taking radiographs (X-Rays) or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph, remains with the practice and will be retained by us. Copies of these investigations with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over or assisting with the case. We retain the right in certain circumstances to levy a charge for providing copies of these records.
The ultrasound images if retained, will be held by a third party and will be securely kept following GDPR Guidelines. Images will not be provided following a ultrasound scan, however a full written report from the ultrasonography will be provided within 2 working days. If upon written request for the images and images are available then they will be provided by The Vet Whetstone within 28 days. An administration fee of £50 + vat will be charged before the images are released to the registered owner.
We may contact you by letter, phone, text or e-mail to advise you of treatment for your pet, finances or reminders of treatments or appointments. Please speak to one of our reception team to update your preferred way to be contacted.
Healthcare reminders are sent as a complimentary service to you, without any liability on our part for loss, damage or any cost which could result if you do not receive the reminder, or if you failed to notify us of a change in contact/delivery preference.
When you give consent to receive electronically delivered specific marketing and special promotion offers from us sent by e-mail or text to you – you will have the option to unsubscribe at any future time.
Telephone calls are recorded for training and customer service quality improvement – let us know if you do not wish your call recorded. CCTV Cameras operate on our premises for security and monitoring purposes.
We like to deal with payments as promptly and efficiently as possible so that we can focus on our main objective, caring for your pet. Fees will vary according to the time involved, medication prescribed, materials consumables and diets employed in the treatment of your pet and include our overhead costs. Emergency consultations and treatment may incur additional charges. For all vet and nurse consultations, payment is required at the time of consultation/treatment. For all surgery or inpatient care, payment is required at the time of collection of your pet unless otherwise stated by The Vet Whetstone management team. In some instances a deposit may be taken prior to the treatment commencing.
The registered owner is liable for all fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, even if your pet is brought to us on your behalf, for example by an agent, relative or a friend.
Items dispensed as part of The Vet Whetstone Pet Health Club, are subject to our Pet Health Club’s Terms and Conditions.
There may be occasions and with your agreement, we shall recommend referring your pet to an appropriate Centre for more in-depth investigations – in the same way your GP can refer a patient to a hospital consultant. For second opinion and specialist cases, a higher consultation fee may be charged to consider the additional time involved in reviewing previous documents and records and making any reports required.
All fees, diet and medication charges from our boutique pet shop are subject to VAT at the current rate.
Invoice and estimate of treatment costs
Upon request, we will be happy to provide you with a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure and other transaction with us.
We will happily provide a written estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment/procedure. However, please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate. A pet’s illness may not follow a conventional course and your pet’s welfare is our primary concern. In some cases, extra surgical or anaesthetic time or medication may be required, and this may incur further costs. Estimates do not include costs of complications during or after procedures or surgery which can occur on rare occasions. We endeavour whenever possible to inform you on the contact telephone number you have given us, if the estimated costs of the procedure are going to be more than the original estimate, but if you are not contactable, we will treat your pet as is necessary for the prevention of pain and suffering. Estimates are valid for 28 days.
Appointment Cancellation Charge
Please notify the practice if you are running late or unable to attend your appointment as we can offer your appointment time to another sick animal. Less than 2 hours notice of cancellation will be deemed as a missed appointment. If you miss 2 appointments, there will be a £26 missed appointment charge fee placed onto your account and payment for further consultations/treatments will be taken prior to the treatment being given. If further consultations are missed, these will be charged at the full price. Cancellation of any procedure/operation must be done 48 hours prior to the appointment. Late cancellation will result in any deposits being lost
For all vet and nurse consultations and collection of medication or food, full payment is required at the time. For all surgery or inpatient care, we require a 50% deposit at the time of booking and the remaining payment is required at the time of collection of your pet from our hospital, unless otherwise stated by The Vet Whetstone management team.
If for any reason you are unable to settle your account, we kindly ask that you notify a member of our staff prior to your consultation or treatment. If the consultation or treatment has commenced, you will be liable for all fees incurred.
If for any reason an account is not settled within ten days and/or a credit card payment has not been honoured or cash tendered is found to be counterfeit, your account will be restored to the original outstanding sum. If after reminders for payment have been sent to you and full payment is still not received, we will refer you to our Debt Collection agency – Debt Solve Limited – whereby you will incur additional charges in respect of costs in collecting the debt: which include but are not limited to: productions of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits, etc. as well as interest charges on the principal sum outstanding.
*(When payments are made using a credit or debit card, we collect the personal information needed to complete the transaction. This information includes your name, card number, and other necessary information. We use a third-party credit card processing company to process your payment. We transfer your payment information and you authorize us to do so to this company solely for this purpose. The credit card company does not retain, share, store, or use personally identifiable information for any other purposes. We do not store credit card details nor do we share customer details with any 3rd parties).
The Vet Whetstone are happy for clients to cover the cost of our services via their pet insurance plan and we strongly support the principle of insuring your pet with a ‘Lifetime’ policy. Please be aware that it is the client’s responsibility to settle all fees at the time of treatment and then reclaim these fees from the insurance company. The Vet Whetstone does not accept Direct Claims. There is an administration fee of £15.00 for each claim form submitted. This fee is due to the time that it takes a member of a team to complete the form and ensure that all the correct documentation is sent off. This includes the relevant clinical history and liaising with your insurance company on your behalf. Claim forms will be completed within two weeks of submisssion to the practice. We do not place any claim forms on hold whilst waiting for treatment/s to be completed.
Please be aware that our Pet Health Club is not an insurance policy, as whilst it covers ongoing essential regular routine preventative healthcare treatments for your pet, it does not cover the costs for unexpected health problems or injury.
If you would like to discuss insurance policies with us, one of our friendly team will be happy to help you.
Emergency and out of hours policy
In an emergency please telephone the practice on 020 8368 9798. Most emergencies during normal opening hours will be seen and treated by us at The Vet Whetstone; these may incur additional charges. On some occasions, during out of hours your call to us may be diverted to The Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMH) at Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms Herts L9 7TA.
When your pet is seen at the QMH in an Emergency, fees are charged directly by QMH.
Repeat examinations and medication
Repeat examinations and consultations are charged at our standard consultation price.
Most of the medicines used in veterinary practice, fall within the category V, (POM-Vs) Prescription-only Medicines. Veterinary surgeons may prescribe POM-Vs only for animals under their own care. Please note that it is our policy that any animal with an on-going illness requiring POM-Vs, are re-assessed by one of our vets at intervals of not more than three months. These assessments will be charged at a standard vet consultation fee.
To order repeat medication, we kindly ask that you contact us by email or telephone. Please note that 48 hours’ notice is required before the medicines are available for your collection. If you require a written prescription for medication/s, please note that 48 hours’ notice is required to prepare this document. Written presciptions are valid for 28 days from issue date and are charged at £23.00 per medication. We accept no liability for medication purchased elsewhere and for documents not collected. Written prescriptions may only be issued for animals under our veterinary surgeons care and are issued at the veterinary surgeons discretion.
Cats in basket/dogs on leads
We kindly ask that all owners take responsibility and control of their animals whilst on our premises. This includes keeping cats and small animals in securely locked baskets and dogs on leads at all times. The staff have the right to ask you to wait outside if your animal is causing disruption in our waiting room.
The practice will only release animals back to an owner in a securely locked basket or on a lead – failure to provide one of these may result in additional charges.
We understand that the veterinary environment may cause some upset or stress to some patients resulting in signs of aggression. Our primary concern is always for the health and safety of the staff, patients, and our clients. Whilst our veterinary nurses and vets are trained to deal with these situations, it is the responsibility of the owner to buy and place a muzzle onto their pet either in the practice or prior to arrival at the practice. Failure to ensure that the muzzle is in place and correctly fitting may result in the consultation being aborted and rescheduled. The consultation will be charged at full price and any rescheduled appointments will also be charged for. If you require further assistance or advice on how to place a muzzle or handle your pet safely please speak to a member of staff prior to your appointment.
We kindly ask that all clients entering our premises respectfully follow the covid guidelines put in place in the practice. We are only allowing one person, per animal to enter the premises and a maximum of two clients in the building at one time. This is to ensure that we keep both our clients and staff as safe as possible. If you are showing any signs of coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms we ask that you do not visit the practice and instead contact us by telephone to arrange further treatment for your pet.
The Vet Whetstone will not accept any liability for damage or loss of personal belongings brought into these premises. This includes personal belongings such as bedding, leads or collars that are left with patients during their stay with us.
RCVS registered practice
The Vet Whetstone is committed to providing all off our patients the best possible care and treatment. All our staff are registered under the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and carry out extensive continual professional development training. The Vet Whetstone is also a training provider for new veterinary students who are registered under RCVS training courses.
The Vet Whetstone has a zero-tolerance policy on any client who is verbally or physically abusive to a member of staff. Our staff are highly trained to provide your animal with the best care and help our clients with any enquiries; however we cannot do this if you are unable to comply with this policy. Every staff member has management authority to ask you to leave if you are uncivil. Failure to comply with this, may result in cancellation of your account with us and you would be banned from our premises and environs with immediate effect. We also reserve the right to involve the police when this appears appropriate.
We reserve the right to end our service to you and your pet by giving you notice in writing, allowing seven days to permit you to register your pet with another veterinary practice. Once we have received an e-mail request from your new veterinary practice for your pet’s patient records, we shall e-mail your pet’s records directly to the new veterinary practice.
If you would like to provide feedback or have a problem that needs resolving but feel that a formal investigation by a manager is not necessary, we invite you to make contact with one our reception team who are well trained to assist you with your enquiry. If you have a concern that you feel requires a more detailed investigation and response from us, we ask that you put your concerns in writing and email it to the practice manager at email@example.com. Please allow 21 days to receive our written reply, in order that we can give your complaint our fullest consideration.