Legal Terms and Conditions
Vets for Pets and Companion Care aim to provide the highest standards of veterinary care to your pet.
These terms and conditions set out:
- your legal rights and responsibilities;
- the legal rights and responsibilities of the Practice; and
- certain key information required by law.
These Terms and Conditions shall apply to the supply of all veterinary services and products to you to the exclusion of all other terms and conditions.
1. Practice Opening Times
1.1 The Practice opening times can be found by searching for your local Vets for Pets or Companion Care practice on our website at www.Vets4Pets.com/find-a-practice or www.companioncare.co.uk/practices scrolling down the page. You can also find a range of other information about your local Vets for Pets or Companion Care practice on this page.
1.2 Whilst some of our practices are open 24 hours a day we are not currently able to offer this service everywhere. For details of our out of hours provision please see paragraph 5 below.
2. In-care patient procedures
2.1 Our Veterinary Surgeons and Registered Veterinary Nurses are all qualified and carry out the care of your pet in line with their relevant RCVS codes of conduct. Whilst your pet is in our care we aim to provide a high standard of care following RCVS guidance. Please note that some of our practices are registered to provide training for Veterinary Students and Student Veterinary Nurses and therefore some consultations, treatments and procedures (or parts thereof) may be carried out by a Veterinary Student or Student Veterinary Nurse, under the direct supervision and guidance of a qualified Veterinary Surgeon, in line with the requirements of the RCVS.
2.2 The supply of veterinary services will normally be agreed with you following an initial consultation and in advance of further treatment. Where possible the Practice will provide you with an estimate regarding the likely costs of the course of treatment. In an emergency the Practice can provide such veterinary services which are deemed reasonably necessary, in the professional judgement of the veterinary surgeon involved, without first agreeing a treatment plan or cost.
2.3 Any estimate given can be subject to amendment. The changes will depend upon a range of factors including, but not limited to, complications during treatment, patient response and any supplemental treatment(s) which may become necessary. If the original estimate looks as if it will be exceeded, then the veterinary surgeon responsible for looking after your pet will discuss any increased fees with you except in the event of an emergency and at the professional discretion of the relevant veterinary surgeon acting in the best interest of your pet.
3. Supply of Products
3.1 In the event of any defect or failure in any retail or similar product supplied by the Practice, the liability to you shall be restricted to replacing the product or refunding the price paid by you for the product.
3.2 You agree that all products must only be used in accordance with the instructions supplied with them or issued verbally by the veterinary surgeon or other member of staff providing the product. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the use of any product, you should consult the veterinary surgeon or other relevant clinical staff for clarification.
3.3 Any products supplied by us shall be of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose for which they are given. All other warranties, expressed or implied, are hereby excluded.
3.4 Written prescriptions can be ordered from your Practice. Charges will apply for prescriptions, repeat prescriptions and any assessment required in re-examining your pet for a new or repeat prescription. These charges will be confirmed by your Practice. Where a repeat prescription is requested the Practice will require reasonable notice – please refer to your practice for details.
3.5 Please note that Vets for Pets or Companion Care surgeries will not be able to offer refunds for returns of any prescription or non-prescription drugs as we are not able to re-sell these and must dispose of them under current disposal of medication regulations. If you would like to return them to the Practice for disposal of the surplus medication we would be happy to assist with this.
4. Procedures for second opinions and referrals
4.1 Where your vet advises that your pet should be seen at a Referral Centre or other veterinary practice, or if you decide that you wish for your pet to be seen for a second opinion, consent will be required to enable us to release your pet’s clinical records to the new hospital or practice and support a smooth transition for the veterinary care of your pet.
4.2 We understand that there may be some emergency circumstances where this may not be appropriate. In some emergency situations we are therefore able to accept verbal instructions in place of a signed third party consent form from the registered owner of the pet only. Please note that the acceptance of verbal instructions will be at the discretion of the individual Practice and we cannot guarantee that verbal instructions will be accepted.
4.3 We reserve the right to decline to supply veterinary services at our discretion.
4.4 You are free at all times at your own cost and subject to the payment obligations in these terms and conditions, to seek a second opinion.
5. Out of Hours emergency services
5.1 For surgeries where we are not able to offer a 24 hour care service the Practice will have provisions in place for a third party out of hours provider to provide emergency care outside of normal Practice opening times. The address and contact details for the out of hours care provider will be available on your local Vets for Pets or Companion Care page of our website.
5.2 Where care is provided to your pet by a third party, operating from one of our surgeries or another premises, all fees incurred will be payable to the provider or hospital providing the services.
5.3 Standard consultation fees for the out of hours service for your local practice are also detailed on their page of our website.
5.4 Please note that, where your pet needs to be transported from your local practice to an out of hours provider for overnight care, you will need to arrange and be responsible for any such transportation unless otherwise agreed with your local practice.
6.1 Our standard prices are displayed in our surgeries and are subject to review from time to time without notice. If you require more information on prices of standard procedures, or estimates for non-standard procedures, please contact your local Vets for Pets or Companion Care who will be happy to assist with further information or an estimate.
6.2 You will be required to pay for any treatments on the day on which they are carried out, or may be asked to make prepayment or deposit in advance (see clauses 6.8 – 6.11 below). All invoices must be settled in full on receipt of the invoice. At your Practice’s discretion, a delay to full payment for your pet’s treatment may be agreed for such reasonable period as the Practice may determine but you still remain liable in full for all invoices and all sums at the end of this extended payment period and the Practice is under no obligation to offer this.
6.3 Should you have insurance in place your Practice may be able, subject to eligibility under your policy and pre-authorisation, and subject to your Practice’s approval, to make a claim and accept payment directly from your pet insurers in the first instance (“direct insurance claim”). In this instance you will be required to pay the excess along with any co-payments and any amounts which fall outside the insurance scope to your Practice on the day. Your insurer will then pay the rest though the direct insurance claim. Please always check your policy documents for full details of your cover, as you may be liable to pay other amounts, e.g. an excess or amounts not covered by your policy. In addition your Practice may, at their discretion, charge an administration fee for processing any direct and indirect claims with your insurer.
6.4 Should your insurer refuse your claim, or in instances where there is no response from the insurer within 28 days, or where the insurer incorrectly pays you direct, you will remain liable for all costs incurred. Your Practice will inform you of this and you will have to settle the outstanding amount in line with the normal payment procedures.
6.5 If you do wish to make a direct insurance claim you must let the Practice know prior to any treatment. Should you not inform the Practice then you will become liable for the fees following treatment and in accordance with the normal payment procedures this will need to be settled at time of treatment. The insurance claim will then need to be made with the insurance provider paying you directly.
6.6 Where any payment remains outstanding for over 28 days, we reserve the right pursue standard debt collection process including the instruction of debt collectors.
6.7 In the event that any invoice or other sum owed by you is not paid when due then, without prejudice to any other remedies available, the Practice may at any time:
6.7.1 stop non-critical treatments or the provision of non-critical medicines (or such other goods as the Practice deems appropriate and of a non-critical nature); and.
6.7.2 add additional charge(s) to your outstanding account in order to recover fees and costs in connection with the collection of the sum owed (including but not limited to administrative costs and debt collection agency fees).
6.8 At the Practice’s discretion a client may be required to pay up front or on account for services and goods (including medicines)
6.9 To secure booking, you may be required to make a pre-payment which may include an amount which will be treated as a deposit (as notified by your practice) for the appointment, consultation, surgical procedure or other such fee. Where pre-payment is required your booking will not be confirmed until this payment is received. The payment will be taken at the time of booking the appointment either in practice, on the telephone by card, or via a digital payment link. Once booking is confirmed a receipt will be sent to you via email. Subject to 6.10 and 6.11 below, the deposit element of the payment will be non-refundable.
6.10 In order to have the deposit refunded or reallocated to an alternative appointment you are required to give reasonable notice of cancellation. Please refer to your practice for the applicable cancellation requirements and notice periods.
6.11 You will not be entitled to a refund of the deposit or be able to transfer the deposit to another appointment if you fail to attend the original or re-booked appointment or if you fail to provide the required notice as set out above. If the practice needs to rearrange or cancel your appointment, the deposit will be reallocated or refunded as appropriate. For the avoidance of doubt the non-deposit element of the pre-payment is refundable or transferrable to another appointment.
6.12 Your Practice reserves the right to charge a set fee for missed appointments (such fee will be determined on a practice by practice basis at their discretion).
6.13 If you are unable to pay for veterinary services then the Practice will only be obliged to fulfil the minimum legal responsibilities and professional obligations in respect of your pet.
7 Complaints Handling Procedure
7.1 We hope that the high standards we aspire to mean that you will never have a complaint about the service and care your pet receives. We welcome feedback from our clients about the service they receive, whether this is positive or negative, and therefore any comments you have are appreciated. Your comments help us to continually work to improve the client experience and service you receive.
7.2 If you do have any comments or feedback the best place to start is with your Vet, or the practice manager, in your local Vets for Pets or Companion Care. If you are raising a complaint then this should be put in writing and sent by email or post to the Vets for Pets practice or Companion Care practice which your complaint relates to. This should contain all details and evidence relating to your complaint. We will then acknowledge your complaint within 5 days and provide a full written response within 2 weeks, following an investigation.
7.3 The relationship between client and veterinary practice must be built on mutual trust and respect. We expect all our clients to treat every member of our practices with courtesy and respect. We do not tolerate rude or abusive behaviour towards our teams and such behaviour directed to our teams may result in withdrawal of our services. All incidents of aggression, threatening behaviour and/or physical violence will be reported to the police.
8.1 You will be required to provide the following information when registering your pet:
i. Full name – Owner;
ii. Pet’s name;
iv. Contact telephone number;
v. Contact email address;
vi. Insurance details (if applicable)
vii. Microchip details (if applicable)
viii. Country of origin (if applicable)
8.3 We will use the personal information you provide to us to:
8.3.1 provide veterinary services and products;
8.3.2 process your payments; and
8.3.3 inform you about the products and services that we or selected third parties provide, but you may stop receiving these at any time by contacting us.
8.4 Should you have any questions or concerns about our use of your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at the following address:
https://www.Vets for Pets.com/about-us/privacy-policy/
9 Consent and Instruction by Agent
9.1 If you wish for someone else (as an authorised agent) to present your pet for consultation or treatment, or to pick up your pet, or a prescription for your pet, on your behalf please let the Practice know. You will also need to confirm whether you are happy for us to discuss details in relation to your pet’s treatment with this person.
10.1 If you are moving house and wish to move your pet to the Vets for Pets or Companion Care Practice in your new neighbourhood, or to another veterinary Practice, we are happy to provide your pet’s clinical records to you or another vet.
10.2 Please make this request with your current Vets for Pets or Companion Care practice as soon as you have the details for your new Practice and we will endeavour to transfer the records within a reasonable timeframe.
10.3 If you wish to have copies of your pet’s clinical records digital copies can be sent to you directly, please make your current Vets for Pets or Companion Care Practice aware and they will seek to carry out your request in a reasonable timeframe.
10.4 Please note that our ability to transfer data is dependent on you completing our third party consent form. No data will be transferred before the third party consent form is completed and received by your Practice. In the event that it is not possible for you to be able to complete the necessary third party consent form, then your consent should be given in writing.
10.5 Any disclosure made may have third party information redacted.
11.1 Each Practice carries professional indemnity insurance ("Insured Sum"). The Practice will supply veterinary services and products to you on the basis that the liability of the Practice for any loss, claim, cost or expense arising out of the supply shall be limited to a maximum of the Insured Sum.
11.2 Please note that each Practice is regulated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
12.1 The information contained on the Vets for Pets website, and in these terms and conditions, is intended for information and reference purposes only. Whilst we take every care to ensure that the information is accurate and complete, it should not be relied upon as a replacement for seeking advice from a qualified veterinary surgeon. Vets for Pets do not accept liability whatsoever of any kind for the information contained in our website or for any assumed pet care, diagnosis or treatment made from the information given.