The Vet Whetstone – Terms & Conditions

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.

Fees

We are constantly improving our care for your pet provided by our Vets and Nurses; the services we provide and our facilities.  As there is no NHS for pets, all private veterinary practices are funded by the fees that you pay. 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. To enable us to continue to provide you with our very best service, please ensure that all fees are paid at the time of treatment – at the end of every Consultation, at the time when drugs or food are collected and when collecting your pet from us following hospitalisation or procedures: this helps us keep the level of fees as low as possible for all our clients.

You are liable for fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet, even if your pet is brought to us on your behalf, by an agent, for example by a 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 drug charges and consumables from our boutique pet shop are subject to VAT at the current rate.

The veterinary surgeons and our nurses and staff will be pleased to discuss likely costs with you – so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Invoice and estimate of treatment costs

You will be offered a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure and other transaction with us.

We provide estimates as to the probable costs of a course of any treatment or procedure, upon request from you:  it remains your responsibility as the pet owner, to ensure that you have received an estimate of probable costs prior to the start of any treatment or procedure. Please bear in mind, that any estimate given can only be approximate, as it is not always possible to predict how a pet’s illness will progress – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course:  during surgery unforeseen circumstances can occur, such as a longer anaesthetic/surgery time than was expected, or necessary vital extra medication being required, which can increase the estimated costs.  Estimates are valid for 28 Days.

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.

Payment

The Vet Whetstone aims to guide pet owners on how best to cover and make provision for veterinary care costs.

To enable us to continue to provide our clients with our very best service, payment is required at the time of your visit. We require that a deposit of 50% of the estimated costs is required at the time of a pet’s admission to our clinic for any procedures or hospitalization.

Payment can made by cash, most *credit or debit cards and with prior approval, by bank transfer. We do not accept Amex.

We invite you to save 30% of costs and spread the payments of most of your pet’s essential regular preventative lifetime healthcare, by joining our Pet Health Club.  All pets are eligible to join the Pet Health Club.

We also have an agreement in place with Braemar Finance, who may be able to provide you with a Payment Plan for larger unexpected veterinary fees.

*(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).

Settlement terms

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 us.  Any financial decision to agree that you can pay by instalment /part-payments, may only be made by one of our Directors and after all appropriate checks have been made and if agreed, you will need to sign an ‘Acknowledgement of Debt/Promissory Agreement’.

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 three Reminders for payment have been sent to you and payment is still not received, in addition to the original sum due, an administration charge will be added to your account although this administration charge may be waived at our discretion if full payment is then received promptly).

If the account still remains outstanding after these due notices to you, overdue accounts will be referred to our Debt Collection Agency and further charges will be levied 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 at base rate +3.75% p.a. on the principal sum outstanding.

Pet insurance

We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet with a ‘Lifetime’ insurance policy against unexpected illness or accidents. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account with us and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.

We are happy to assist you in making a claim on your insurance.  Once you have completed and signed the Insurance claim form, we endeavour to send off all completed insurance forms once received from you within 10 days.

We are a ‘Pet Plan Insurance’ approved veterinary practice and can issue Free Cover Notes with Pet Plan Insurance, giving immediate insurance cover to pets within the required age brackets. Please ask one of our friendly Team for more details. (Please speak to us before considering cancelling an insurance policy or changing our insurance company).

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.

There is an administration fee for every insurance claim form we submit on your behalf – the fee is not applicable for Pet Health Club members.

Appointments

Reminders –

Our practice will endeavour to send booster and health check reminders to you in accordance with your preferred delivery method: by e-mail, text or letter. It remains your responsibility to present your pet for vaccination and health checks at the appropriate time and to keep us advised of any change in your contact details and delivery preference – (by e-mail, text or letter).

Appointment Cancellation Charge –

Your earliest advice of any change of appointment time is required so we can allow another pet to be seen.  When this occurs on more than two occasions, we reserve the right to make a charge of 50% of the consultation Fee without any further notice.

Our opening hours

Monday – Friday: 8:30am -7.00pm
Saturday: 9:30am – 4.00pm

Animals hospitalised

Animals hospitalized out of ‘Opening Hours’ at The Vet Whetstone will be assessed by the Vet on duty to determine the level of monitoring that is required. On occasion, staff may not be living on-site.

Emergency and out of hours policy

In an emergency please telephone the practice on 020 8368 9798.  Most emergencies during normal opening hours and or out of hours will be seen and treated by us at The Vet Whetstone.  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.

Home visits for our registered clients

If you and or your pet cannot make it in to our practice, we can attend to your pet at your home. Prior to the home visit we shall advise you of the additional fee involved.

Repeat examinations and repeat medication

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 apart from a few simple health problems, it is our policy that any animal with an on-going illness, are re-assessed by one of our vets at intervals of not more than three months.

Regular monitoring of your pet ensures that we comply with the appropriate Medicines Legislation and that best health results are achieved. Some cases may involve the vet reducing or extending the time interval before a repeat consultation is required:  this would depend on the individual case circumstances and the opinion of the veterinary surgeon.

All requests for repeat medication must be authorized by one of our veterinary surgeons and an appointment may be required before further medicines can be provided.

Requests for repeat prescriptions can be made with our online ‘repeat medication request’ form, by e-mail or telephone call to the practice.  When we receive your repeat medication request, we shall contact you and let you know if you need an appointment, or when your medicines will be ready for you to collect from the practice.

Please note that 48 hours’ notice is required before the medicines are available for your collection. If your need for repeat pet medication is urgent, please call us directly on 020 8368 9798.

Our standard Consultation Fee will apply when your pet needs to be re-examined for a repeat prescription.

Patient records

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.

Feedback

We are pleased to receive feedback on our service to you. Please use our ‘Customer Feedback’ form to let us know your thoughts, so we can continue to improve the level of our care and service.

Complaints & standards

Whilst we hope that you will never have course to complain about the standards of our service, should you feel there is something you wish to bring to our attention, please whenever possible, raise it first with a member of our Team. If the proposed resolution is not then met to your satisfaction, an appointment can be arranged with our Customer Services Manager to discuss the matter further with you, or alternatively please address an e-mail to us for the attention of ‘Customer Services Manager’ or send a letter to us addressed: Customer Services Manager, The Vet Whetstone, 247 Oakleigh Road North, London, N20 0TX.  Please allow 21 days to receive our written reply, in order that we can give your complaint our fullest consideration.  Should we be unable to resolve matters with you, we would present the case to our governing body, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Contact with you

We give all newly registered clients a copy of our Terms and Conditions.  Upon registration with us we shall collect a range of essential personal data about you and your pet/s to be used by us and not to be shared with third parties.

We may contact you by letter, phone, text or e-mail to advise you of an outstanding account, as well as send reminders for your pet’s preventative healthcare treatments. Speak to one of our Team to advise or update your preferred way to be contacted.

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 purposes.

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.  Please therefore contact us to advise us if you want to change/modify how we contact you for reminders for flea and worming treatments and or booster vaccinations and or if you no longer want to receive healthcare reminders from us.

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.

All new clients registering with us are given a copy of our Terms and Conditions and referred to read our Privacy Policy on our website at www.thevetwhetstone.co.uk

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. In the event of verbal or physical abuse to any member of our Veterinary Practice Team, we reserve the right to provide no further treatment for your pet 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.

General

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. All new clients registering with us at the practice will receive a copy of our Terms of Business.

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