Standard Terms and Conditions of Business
Swaffham Veterinary Centre is a trading name of Swaffham Veterinary Centre Limited. Registered office: 3 Tower Meadow, Swaffham, and Norfolk, PE37 7LT. Registered Company no.9620041. Liam Manson BVM&S MRCVS, Jon Mills BVSc MRCVS and Helen Manning RVN.
Details, including relevant medical history will be obtained from the previous attending veterinary surgeon in accordance with the RCVS code of professional conduct. Obtaining these records is in the interest of your pets’ welfare to ensure we know about any current medical conditions, treatment being received, etc.
All new clients are encouraged to carefully read these terms and conditions.
Fees and Out of Hours Emergencies
All fees, diets and medication charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. All fees are due at the time of consultation unless otherwise authorized by the practice manager in advance.
Our written fee list is available on request. We operate a sliding scale fee for consultations. The initial consultation fee is £30, a subsequent consultation for the same condition is £25.00 and a third consultation fee for the same condition is £15.00. There is no charge for post-operative checks.
Consultations and treatments out of hours (6.30pm-8.30am weekdays, after 12.00pm Saturdays and all day Sundays and Bank Holidays) are charged at a higher rate.
The costs are as follows:
Before 10pm = £90.00
After 10pm = £120.00
These fees and any other charges incurred are payable at the time of the appointment.
Swaffham Veterinary Centre operates our own out of hour’s emergency cover. In case of an emergency you will be seen at 3 Tower Meadow, Swaffham by one of our own veterinary surgeons. If you have an emergency please telephone the normal number, 01760 722054 and listen to the recorded message. You will be given an option to obtain the number of the on call vet.
In patient care
Hospitalised animals are cared for throughout the day by the nurses and veterinary surgeons on duty. No one is resident at the surgery overnight, but the veterinary surgeon on call has the responsibility of caring for any inpatients. Overnight care will be shared out between the on call vet and nurse. CCTV is also used in the kennel areas.
Any high dependency patients will be managed on a case by case basis.
We operate our own in-house pharmacy for your convenience and to keep our costs down overall. You are, however, entitled to a prescription for any medication, which can be filled in another pharmacy. The price of a veterinary prescription from Swaffham veterinary Centre is £15.50.
Prices for any treatments and medications are available on request. We may only prescribe POM-V medicines for animals under our care. To be under our care, your pet must be seen regularly by the veterinary surgeon at intervals appropriate to the condition treated. For most patients the minimum interval will be 6 months, but for many conditions we may need to reassess the condition and response to treatment plus any side effects more frequently than this. Additionally, for safety reasons, only limited quantities of medication may be prescribed at one time. A consultation fee is applicable for repeat prescription checks. For routine flea and worm preventative treatment, patients should be seen at least annually (this will usually be at booster vaccination time).
Current regulations require us to destroy any returned prescription medications therefore no refunds are available on returned medications. Returned medications cannot be re-sold; neither can packaging be safely reused. Medications obtained elsewhere should be returned to the place of purchase when no longer needed, and not to us.
Methods of Payment
Accounts should be paid at the end of the consultation, on the discharge of your pet or upon collection of medicines, food or other items. You may settle the account using cash, cheque, credit or debit card e.g. MasterCard, Visa, Visa Debit. Payment by card can be taken over the telephone.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We will happily provide a written estimate as to the possible costs of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimates given can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course, and unforeseen costs may arise. We will endeavor to keep you informed if this is the case.
Should an outstanding account not be settled immediately, then a reminder will be sent. Should we not receive payment in a timely manner an additional accounting fee in respect of the administrative costs will be added. This may be deducted if payment is made by return.
Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, further non-deductible charges will be incurred. Notification of queries or complaints must be directed to us verbally or in writing within 14 days of receipt of invoice. After due notice to you, overdue accounts will be referred to our Debt Collection Agents and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, such as production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits etc. Any cheque returned by our Bank as unpaid, any Credit Card payment not honored 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.
Quantity discounts may be offered for three or more animals presented for treatment on the same day for the same procedure provided settlement is received in full at the time of treatment.
Any discounts given are at the discretion of the directors and are subject to availability and change without notice.
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 and certainly before any treatment are administered. Please note that instalments or part-payments of any account may ONLY be sanctioned with the express permission of the directors. Non-emergency medicines or other items cannot be given without payment at the time.
Pet Health Insurance
We strongly recommend insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. It is your responsibility to submit claim forms to us for completion. Insurance form administration is provided free of charge by us and all claim forms will be dealt with promptly.
It is your responsibility to settle your account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company, unless we have expressly agreed to claim fees direct and you have settled the expected excess. For any direct claim
A Swaffham Veterinary Direct Claim Form must be filled in and returned at least 24 hours before any procedures or treatments take place. This is a discretionary service and we reserve the right to decline direct claims.
In the event of the insurance company not settling the claim within 6 weeks, you must pay the account in full. We reserve the right to request payment in full at any time.
Complaints and Standards
We hope that you never have cause to complain about our standards of service. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to complain about, please direct your comments in the first instance to a member of staff. If the complaint cannot be resolved at the time, please contact the practice manager in writing. We will acknowledge your complaint within 48 hours and a full response to your complaint will be given within 10 working days.
Ownership of Records
Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by, Swaffham veterinary Centre Limited. Copies, with a summary of the history, will be sent to another veterinary surgeon upon request. Due to data protection the client registered at Swaffham Veterinary Centre must give verbal or written permission for us to release clinical history to another veterinary practice. The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs 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 the radiograph), remains with the practice.
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 directors. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way. Please ask for further explanation or clarification if required.
Swaffham Veterinary Centre will contact you either by letter, email, phone or text in order to advise you that your pet’s annual vaccination may be due. We can only generate reminders when Swaffham Veterinary Centre has administered at least one vaccine to your pet.
Whilst we make every effort to send out reminders for your pet’s healthcare, these are provided as a complimentary service and the responsibility to keep them up to date remains with you. In particular, please be aware that PETS passports require rabies vaccination boosters so please keep a personal record of when this is due. Swaffham Veterinary Centre accepts no liability for any loss, damages or costs which may result from the failure of a client receiving any reminder.