Terms of Trading and Practice Policies
Should you have a query about any of our Terms of Trading, please feel free to ask for further explanation or clarification. This is easiest done via email. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All fees and product charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fees are determined by the complexity of a case, the time spent on it and the techniques, drugs, materials, consumables and diets used in its pursuance. A written fee list is available upon request. You will receive a detailed fee note for every consultation, surgical procedure or any other transaction you make with us.
All fees must be paid upon request, unless otherwise agreed with the practice manager or clinical director. The only exception to this is where an ‘Excess Only’ pet insurance policy has previously been registered and accepted by Holly House Vets’ staff. For full details please read the relevant section of this leaflet. Please note, we do not offer credit facilities.
METHODS OF PAYMENT
You may settle your account using any of the following methods:
- CREDIT/DEBIT CARD (A minimum transaction value of £10.00 may be levied)
Payment is requested at the end of each consultation, after each individual treatment session, daily throughout any period of hospitalisation, at the time of discharge, at the end of treatment and upon collection of any drugs, diets or other products.
Prolonged treatment will require frequent payments in order to maintain a clear account and clients should be advised that further veterinary services cannot be provided to those with outstanding debts of more than 7 days, unless alternative arrangements have been made with our Accounts Department. Our reception and clinic staff are instructed to decline further services until any debt has been cleared in full.
INABILITY TO PAY
If, for any reason, you are unable to settle your account upon request, we would ask you to discuss the matter immediately with our Accounts Department. Installments or part-payment of any account may ONLY be sanctioned by the practice manager or the clinical director.
Holly House Vets will pursue all outstanding fees and will use debt collection agencies, legal services and court action where necessary. Failure to clear an amount within 7 days automatically incurs administrative charges. Details are available from our accounts department.
Any cheque returned by our bank, any credit card payment not honored and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit, will result in the account being treated as ‘unpaid’ and we will pursue it accordingly. Any bank charges or other costs will be transferred directly to the client.
Holly House Vets does not accept responsibility for the actions of debt collection agencies or the consequences of pursuing any debt owed to us or sold on by us.
Holly House Vets fully supports the principle of pet insurance. We encourage all clients to consider insuring their pets before using our services.
Please bring valid details of your pet insurance policy with you each and every time you use our services. It is advisable to register all policy details with our reception staff and confirm them every time you visit one of our surgeries. This will greatly assist both you and us when your pet requires treatment.
Holly House Vets have a large number of trained staff to assist you in identifying suitable insurance cover and explain how claims are processed. Whenever you have a claim, it should be passed on to our insurance representatives via our reception staff. If you require any assistance or further information, our staff will be pleased to help.
We cannot be held responsible for terms and conditions within your individual insurance policy or for clauses, exclusions or exemptions which later invalidate all or any part of your claim.
It is the responsibility of all clients to inform Holly House Vets in advance about exclusions, terms or policy conditions which may affect the choice of treatment your pet receives. This applies each and every time a condition requires treating.
Please note that it is the client’s responsibility to settle their account and then reclaim the cost from the insurance company. Certain insurance policies are accepted as ‘Excess Only’ by Holly House Vets (see below.)
EXCESS ONLY INSURANCE POLICIES
Where clients have a suitable pet insurance policy it may be accepted as ‘Excess Only’ by Holly House Vets. In this instance we are happy to waive the requirement to pay each time you visit one of our surgeries, providing that all necessary conditions are met. Charges over and above your excess and any exclusions will be recovered directly from your insurance company. However, in order to activate this facility, you will have to complete a standard set of practice forms with our receptionists. You are obliged to identify any relevant conditions and exclusions which may affect payments from your insurance company to Holly House Vets. Excluded items (goods or services) must be paid for at the time they are provided, immediately upon request. These will include:
- Any balance where the relevant insurance claim is rejected in full, in part, or is reduced for any reason by your insurance company.
- Any balance arising if your insurance company reimburses you directly instead of Holly House Vets.
- Any balance if the amount you have already paid is less than the appropriate excess, as determined by the terms and conditions of your policy.
Due to FSA regulations, only certain, specified insurance policies can be managed by Holly House Vets as ‘Excess Only.’ Our staff will be happy to advise you in this matter. Holly House Vets have the right to withdraw this service at any time without prior notice and fees should be paid in full directly to Holly House Vets.
If your pet insurance policy is NOT accepted by Holly House Vets as ‘Excess Only’ you will be expected to pay all fees directly to us, upon request, and then recover the expenses from your insurance company afterwards. We will help you with this process wherever possible, but cannot accept any specific responsibility for your claim.
ESTIMATES OF TREATMENT COSTS
We will be happy to provide a written estimate as to the probable cost of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate as a pet’s illness may not follow a conventional or predictable course. For this reason, such an estimate should not be interpreted as a fixed price quotation. Holly House Vets will only honour a fixed price quotation which has been signed by the practice manager or clinical director.
Treatment and investigations are dictated by a patient’s condition over time. Clients need to be aware that it is only possible to give estimates covering short periods of time i.e. 24 hours. After this, further estimates can, and will, be generated in response to information available, alterations in the patient’s condition and/ or any progress made.
When a pet is hospitalised every effort will be made to give regular updates via the telephone however it must be remembered that some conditions change swiftly and may require treatment immediately. This is rare and you will usually be asked to give consent for further treatment and will be advised of the cost at the time.
SET PRICE PROCEDURES
Certain elective procedures, such as neutering and vaccination, are carried out at set prices, depending upon the type and size of patient. Such fees assume that no complications occur. Management of complications, from whatever cause, always generates additional costs, which are not the responsibility of Holly House Vets and so must be met by the client, as detailed below.
OUTCOMES, COMPLICATIONS AND COMPLICATION MANAGEMENT
There are many and varied reasons why surgical or medical complications may occur, including self-trauma by the patient. We regret that we cannot be held responsible, whatever the cause. Risk of complications is clearly identified on all our surgery, anaesthesia, hospitalisation and other consent forms. Costs arising as a result of dealing with any complications are regarded as additional to any estimate and will be included in the final account.
Holly House Vets prides itself on its excellent standards of practice, equipment, staff skills and up to date veterinary techniques. The outcomes of our medical and surgical cases are remarkably good, however, just as with human medicine, nothing is 100% predictable and results can never be guaranteed.
A client leaflet is available to explain our complaints procedures please ask at reception or visit our feedback and complaints procedure page.
We sincerely hope that you will never need to complain about the standard of service you receive from Holly House Vets. However, if there is something you wish to discuss or you have a complaint, please in the first instance discuss the matter with the veterinary surgeon or nurse in charge of your pet’s care and if you are unable to do this, please telephone or write to the practice manager - contact details can be found on our website. Please remember to include your details, details of any member of staff involved (all our staff wear name badges and are easily identified) plus the full circumstances of your complaint. This information will remain confidential. We take all complaints very seriously and will endeavor to deal with client concerns as quickly and efficiently as possible.
OWNERSHIP OF RECORDS
Case records and documents, including those of specific investigative procedures such as radiography, endoscopy or ultrasound scans, remain the property of Holly House Vets, and will be retained by us. Relevant copies of any record and/or history are available to you and can be passed, upon request, to another veterinary surgeon or pet insurance company.
Unless our clients specify otherwise, employees of Holly House Vets are free to take photographic images throughout the course of all or any treatment. Such photographs may eventually be used by the practice e.g. for marketing, teaching or training purposes.
STANDARDS OF SERVICE
All Holly House Vets veterinary services are determined and performed by qualified veterinary surgeons, assisted by qualified or trainee veterinary nurses. All our veterinary surgeons and qualified nurses are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and so must act in accordance with their guide to professional conduct at all times.
Holly House Vets is recognised by the RCVS as an accredited Hospital practice. This means that our facilities and services are of a consistently high and certified standard. Details of the practice accreditation scheme are available from the RCVS (www.rcvs.org.uk).
In an emergency, we can be contacted using any of our telephone numbers to access our 24 hour veterinary service. We have staff available to deal with your pet around the clock.
For the security of our staff, we are unable to allow clients on to our premises out of normal working hours unless they have firstly contacted us by telephone and given adequate identification details.
Hospitalisation of animals requires intensive and constant monitoring of patients. Holly House Vets provides high quality cover to Leeds at our RCVS Hospital site which is staffed 24 hours a day. This ensures that your pet receives exemplary care around the clock and is never left on its own.
VISITING YOUR PET
Holly House Vets reserves the right to restrict access to animals during the period of hospitalisation.
Access to animals housed in clinical areas is always at the client’s risk. Holly House Vets cannot be held responsible for any injuries or disease resulting from a client’s presence within an active clinical working environment, or the effects of the conditions within these areas. A clinical treatment area may contain surgical equipment, clinical waste, material able to transmit infectious diseases and disoriented animals able to inflict injury.
In principle, Holly House Vets encourages contact between owners and their hospitalised pets, but it is inadvisable to bring minors into an active clinical area without first discussing it with the veterinary surgeon caring for your pet. In general, access to hospitalised animals is only granted by prior arrangement, when it is deemed safe for the client and unlikely to compromise the treatment of any animal. You may only be allowed into a staff area in the company of a member of staff. This means you may need to leave if the staff member is needed elsewhere in the building.
SECOND OPINIONS AND REFERRALS
Second opinion consultations can be arranged either with another qualified veterinary surgeon within Holly House Vets or at another practice. Please speak to a member of staff if you would like further information about seeking a second opinion.
Referral to another practice can be arranged for specialist cases. Please speak to the veterinary surgeon in charge of your pet’s care.
CLIENT COMMUNICATION DETAILS
When owners and pets are separated as a result of critical disease and hospitalisation, Holly House Vets will endeavor to keep owners regularly informed of their pet’s progress and of costs incurred.
In order to enable us to do this, it is important that clients ensure we have full details of their address, home and work telephone numbers, mobile phone number and e-mail address, wherever possible.
Your personal contact details are recorded to allow us to inform you of and discuss with you relevant details of your pet’s care, including progress, treatment and appropriate costs. These details will never be sold or disclosed to a third party and remain confidential at all times. Holly House Vets reserves the right to use these details to send literature and information to its registered clients.
COMPLIANCE WITH BOOSTER DATES
Clients are obliged to ensure that all registered animals are fully vaccinated at all times.
Holly House Vets is not responsible for the consequences of a client bringing an inadequately vaccinated animal to any of our hospitals or clinics. Holly House Vets does not accept responsibility for the consequences for any animal who is not up to date with their vaccinations.
REPEAT PRESCRIPTION POLICY
Holly House is an RCVS accredited practice with a large number of employees. In order to avoid any confusion, we operate a strict repeat prescription policy. Our policy is set out clearly in or Repeat Prescriptions Policy leaflet. This leaflet can be collected from the surgery or downloaded from our website www.hollyhousevets.co.uk.
All products and services are provided by Holly House Vets within the Terms of Trading outlined here. Acceptance of any product or service from Holly House Vets automatically implies acceptance of our Terms of Trading. No variation of these terms will bind the practice unless they are specifically agreed, in writing, and signed by the clinical director or the practice manager.
No agent or person employed by or under contract to the practice has the authority to alter or vary these terms in any way.
THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE
Any client threatening a member of staff, behaving inappropriately, or failing to clear their account in response to a final written request within 7 days will be refused future veterinary services.