Terms & Conditions

Etwall Vets and Beech Vets are trading names of Sarah Smith Cardiology Ltd, an independent limited company registered in England and Wales with registration number 9211849.  The registered company address is Ivy Court, Willington Road, Etwall, Derbyshire,  DE65 6JG.

This document sets out the terms of the contract established between us (Sarah Smith Cardiology Ltd) and you (the registered animal owner or individual requesting our services) which comes into being when you register your animal with any of our veterinary practices or when you request veterinary services from us.

Fees

Fees for all our goods and services are subject to VAT at the current rate.  Fee levels are determined by the professional fees in respect of veterinary services, drugs, materials and consumable items used in the treatment of your animal. 

You can receive a full breakdown of these fees on an invoice, either electronic or printed, for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us.  Please advise us how you would like to receive your invoices.

Estimate of Costs

We are happy to provide an estimate of costs for any course of treatment or procedure.  This can be verbal, written or electronic in accordance with your preferences.  Please bear in mind that all estimates are approximate and final invoices may be higher or lower depending on unforeseen complications during treatment. 

In the event of life-threatening complications, whilst every attempt will be made to contact you at the soonest opportunity, emergency life-saving intervention may be necessary and this may give rise to extra costs.

In the event of any charges exceeding 10% of the estimated costs, all reasonable efforts will be made to contact you as soon as possible for authorisation. If we are unable to contact you the Veterinary Surgeon will act in the best interest of your pet and this may incur extra costs.

Methods of Payment

Full settlement of your invoice is required on completion of a consultation, discharge of your pet following a surgical procedure or hospital stay and upon collection for repeat medications, parasiticides, food and pet products. 

You can settle your invoice with CASH, CHEQUE, all major CREDIT/DEBIT CARDS (please note we do not accept American Express or Diners) or by electronic bank transfer using BACS.  Our bank account details can be found at the base of your invoice to enable you to do this.

Settlement Terms

If you have not paid within 14 days you will be sent a reminder.  We reserve the right to add a late payment surcharge to all amounts outstanding beyond this period.  Statements, reminders and letters will be sent to you in respect of any outstanding fees and any additional surcharges and administration costs.  If an account remains outstanding after all reminders have been sent then the debt will be transferred to a debt collection agency of our choosing to recover the debt.  Please note that this will incur further fees and the use of a debt collection agency or county court summons can affect your credit rating.

If any cheques are returned to us unpaid, any cash that is tendered is found to be counterfeit or any card payment is not honoured then you will still owe us the original sum and further charges will be added in respect of administration costs and bank charges.

No further transactions will be possible whilst the debt remains unpaid. Provision of any further goods and services will be suspended until the outstanding sum is paid in full.

Inability to Pay

If you are unable to settle your account we ask that you discuss it with us at the earliest possible opportunity, preferably before your pet receives treatment.  We do not operate any instalment scheme or credit scheme which allows you to pay for treatment that has already been administered.

In certain circumstances, where it is considered appropriate, we may allow pre-payment by instalment for certain procedures.

The final decision with regard to any outstanding invoices lies with the Financial Director.

Insurance Claims

We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents.

When a pet is insured the contract is between yourself and the insurance company, we cannot advise you on the best policy for your pet, we can only offer advice on the things to look for and think about when taking out an insurance policy (see our website for details). 

It remains your responsibility to settle our fees in full and then reclaim them from the insurance company,
full payment is required before we can process your claim. An appropriately completed and signed claim
form must be presented to the practice (either printed copy or electronically via your insurers website/portal) once treatment is complete or a suitable interval has lapsed for ongoing claims. We will
endeavour to complete these as swiftly as possible but cannot guarantee a fixed time frame for this. We
charge an administration fee of £15.00 for each new insurance claim that we submit on a client’s behalf, if you have to make further claims for the same condition all subsequent claims are charged at £8.50. This fee is payable at the time you ask us to complete the claim for you; however, we reserve the right to apply further administration charges for any complex, urgent or overdue claims.

Direct Claims

In certain circumstances we may accept direct insurance claims, but usually only if the claim has been pre-authorised by your insurers.  If you are insured with an insurance company that does not allow pre-authorisation claims then we will be unable to accede to your request for a Direct Claim.

All requests for a Direct Claim must be authorised by the Finance Director, General Manager or one of the Veterinary Clinical Leads.

Even if we undertake a direct claim for you, you still remain liable for any excess or co-payment applied by your insurers as part of your policy terms and conditions and in most cases, we will ask you to settle this amount with us directly before we submit any direct claim.

Please be aware that just because we undertake a direct claim for your pet’s treatment, it does not guarantee that your insurers will pay your claim.  If they fail to pay you will become liable for any settlement shortfall and/or complete settlement of any outstanding invoice.

Ownership of Records/Radiographs and other Digital Imaging

Case records, radiographs and copies of all other digital imaging remain the property of and shall be retained by Sarah Smith Cardiology Ltd.  Whilst we make a charge for performing procedures such as radiography and/or ultrasound, ownership of the images created during these procedures remains with the practice.  We are happy to discuss them with you and we will send copies of them, upon request, to another veterinary surgeon should you move away or for the purposes of a second opinion or referral.

We never discuss or sell confidential records to any third party.

Veterinary Medicinal Products and Written Prescriptions

All veterinary surgeons will provide prescriptions on request.  Any medications that our veterinary surgeons prescribe for your pet may be obtained from us at the time of the consultation or you may request a written prescription so that you may obtain the medication from a pharmacy or another vet.  We will issue a written prescription in line with RCVS guidelines for the product being prescribed.  It is also our policy that your pet is seen by a veterinary surgeon for a medication review at least every 6 months (with some medications this may be more frequent).  This review will allow the vet to assess your pet’s condition, discuss any amendments or additions that may be appropriate to your pet’s medication regime and to check for any problems that may be associated with long-term treatment.  It also provides you with an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have regarding your pet’s health.  There will always be a charge for this medication review.

Providing a written prescription is a professional act that requires a considerable degree of responsibility and an appropriate charge will be applied for this service.  The actual charge will depend on the number and types of medications to be supplied.  Please note that we will only issue a written prescription following a clinical examination of an animal that we consider to be under out care.

In certain circumstances a written prescription may not be appropriate, if an animal is a ward/day patient at the practice or if the medication is required for immediate treatment.

By law we cannot give credit for return of medications even if they remain unopened and unused as we are unable to monitor the storage and security of the item once it has left our premises.  As medications need to be strictly temperature controlled this means they are unable to be resold.  We can arrange disposal of unused medications for you.

Out of Hours Emergency Treatment

Etwall and Beech Vets do not operate their own out of hours emergency service.  This service is provided by a third-party provider, Vets at Night based at Pride Veterinary Centre in Derby.  Sarah Smith Cardiology Ltd is not responsible for the charges levied by Vets at Night nor for the service delivered by them.  If you choose to use their service, you will be responsible for any fees incurred at Vets at Night and you will be bound by their Terms and Conditions of service, not these.

If you have an emergency outside our normal surgery hours you should dial our normal number and this will provide you with instructions on how to proceed.

Data Protection

We comply with the Data Protection Act 2018 and will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that any data we collect and store is kept securely, used appropriately and is not shared with any third party except for the purposed of debt collection.  We will only collect data that we need to perform our services, take payment or contact you for the purposes of reminders, invoices, receipts and statements.  You have the option to decline contact from the practice, if you do not wish to be contacted by us please call our reception team who will amend your records to show that you do not wish to be contacted by us.

Please note that if you opt for no communication you will not receive reminders for vaccinations, parasite protection or other critical services.

For further information please see our privacy policy which is published on our website.

Complaints

We hope that you never have cause to complain about the standard of service that you receive from any of the Sarah Smith Cariology Ltd practices.  However, if you feel that there is something you wish to bring to our attention or complain about please contact the surgery in person by telephone or writing within 3 months of the complaint event.

Variation in terms of trading

No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless specifically agreed in writing and signed by a director of the company.  No agent or person employed by or under contract with the company has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.

27/11/2023