Small Animals Terms and Conditions of Business
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Fenton Vets.
Conditions of Registration
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions of business.
For clients transferring from another practice we require a full clinical history. It is a condition of registration that you consent to a financial reference being provided from previous veterinary practices, and consent to the disclosure of this information. Unsatisfactory references may result in your registration being declined or cancelled. Please ensure you allow enough time for your history to be obtained before making an appointment.
Responsible Pet Ownership
Fenton Vets believe in the principle of responsible pet ownership and the benefits of preventative healthcare, this includes regular appropriate vaccinations, worm and flea control for dogs, cats and rabbits. Microchipping is now a legal requirement and provides the best permanent means of identification for your pet.
Pet Health Insurance
Fenton Veterinary Practice strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask our trained insurance advisors for further information. Please be aware that Practice policy is for you to settle your account in full at the time of treatment and to reclaim any fees from your insurance company.
There is no National Health Service for pets, and Fenton Veterinary Practice relies on fee income to invest in the best possible standard of facilities, equipment, and staff to the benefit of our patients and clients.
Please ensure all fees are paid at the time of treatment as this helps to keep the level of fees as low as possible for all our clients. Outstanding invoices will incur surcharges if they remain unpaid.
All professional fees, accessories, and medicine charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time and skill level required for a case as well as medicines, materials, laboratory test, consumables, and diets used. Itemised fee breakdowns are always available for every treatment. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment for your pet even if your pet is brought to us on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent.
No medicines or Accessory items can be dispensed without payment being received at the time of collection.
The Veterinary Surgeons and staff will be pleased to discuss likely costs at any time – please don’t hesitate to ask.
Methods of payment
Invoices are due for settlement at the end of each consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of medicines and other pet requisites. You may settle your account using: Cash or Credit /Debit card – we accept Maestro, Solo, Mastercard, Visa and Delta. In some cases, we accept relevant vouchers that are valid and in date.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We will provide written estimates as to the probable costs of a course of treatment. 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, and often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course. We will try to contact you on the contact numbers you have given us if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimated costs, however, if you are not contactable we will treat your pet as necessary for the prevention of pain and or suffering.
All accounts should be settled in full at the end of each consultation, on the discharge of your pet, or on collection of food, medication or accessories. If for any reason an account is not be settled in full by the end of the month, an invoice will be sent incurring an additional accounting fee in respect of administration costs. Should it be necessary for further statements to be sent, further charges will be incurred. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our debt collection service and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. (These include but are not limited to, the 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 honoured 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 administration costs.
All missed appointments will be charged for unless reasonable notice of cancellation is given. It is at Fenton Vets’ sole discretion not to charge for a missed appointment.
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. Please note that installment payments or part-payment of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of the Practice Manager after appropriate checks have been made and you will need to sign an acknowledgment of debt. The granting of permission for installment payments rather than full payment at the time of treatment is at Fenton Veterinary Practice’s absolute discretion.
Out of Hours policy
Should your animal require Veterinary attention outside of surgery hours, we provide 24hr Emergency Veterinary cover. No staff are resident at the practice overnight, however, your pet will be monitored by the Out of Hours team as often as is considered appropriate for their condition.
We can only provide prescription medications for animals under our care. This means that the Veterinary Surgeon has to examine your animal before dispensing medication or at suitable intervals if your pet is on long-term medication. The frequency of repeat medication reviews is at the discretion of the vet. A consultation charge will be payable for these checks which must be carried out at least every 6 months.
Fenton Vets may contact you either by letter, phone, text or electronic means in order to advise you of outstanding account, reminders of your pet’s preventative healthcare treatments and any marketing offers that might be of benefit to you or your pet. Please inform us if you wish no contact to be made. However, please be aware that this will remove the ability of the Practice to send vaccination reminders.
Reminders are provided as a complimentary service to our clients. Fenton Vets accepts no liability for any loss, damages or costs which may result from the failure of a client to receive any reminder.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by a Director. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with Fenton Veterinary Practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.
The best facilities for the treatment of your pet are in the Veterinary Surgery. We recommend that on most occasions you bring your pet to the surgery for examination and treatment. However, there are occasional circumstances when home attendance may be more appropriate. Please call us to discuss this, if you think this is the case. If you require a home visit, we appreciate as much notice as possible to help us accommodate your request. Visiting pets at home takes much longer than at surgery. We respectfully advise that home visits are more costly for this reason.
Complaints and Standards
Fenton Vets is committed to providing an exceptional standard of service and care. Fenton Vets provides ongoing training to its staff regarding all aspects of companion animal practice.
We realise however that things can sometimes go wrong and there may be occasions when you feel your expectations were not met. When this happens we want to hear about it so that we can try to put things right.
Most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and directly with the person concerned.
If your complaint cannot be resolved, you should then write to us, your complaint will be handled by the Practice Manager who will either, contact you, correspond with you or meet with you as appropriate to the complaint.
A Guide to Making A Complaint
We hope that before you complain formally 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 as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily. Regretfully, we are unable to investigate complaints made more than 6 months after the event.
Please include the following to assist us in investigating the problem.
Why: The nature of the complaint/problem,
When: The problem occurred,
Who: Which staff were involved,
What: You are hoping for, as an outcome.
Complaints should be addressed to the Practice Manager, Mrs A. Francis.
What we will do
We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receipt, informing you who is dealing with your complaint and when you can expect to receive a reply. In most cases, we hope to give you a full reply within fifteen working days but if it is going to take longer, we will get in touch with you to let you know what is happening. We will then be in a position to offer you an explanation, and /or the results of our investigation.
When we look into your complaint, we will aim to:
♦ Find out what happened and what went wrong
♦ Make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
♦ Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.
What to do if you are still unhappy
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure. We believe this will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong and is an opportunity for us to improve our practice. This does not affect your right to approach the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons if you are dissatisfied with the result of our investigation.