Terms and conditions of business for Hopwood Pets Limited

Hopwood Pets Limited, trading as Hopwood Veterinary Centre, registered with Companies House, Company registration number  04750431, director Mrs Cara Alma, registered address Hopwood Veterinary Centre, 1-3 Hillside Court, 498-500 Lickey Road, Cofton Hackett, Birmingham, B45 8UU.

This document sets out the terms of the contract established between us ( Hopwood Pets Limited )and you (the registered animal owner or individual requesting veterinary services) which comes into being when you register your animal with our veterinary practice or when you ask us to provide veterinary services.

Should you have any queries regarding any aspect of these terms of business please do not hesitate to ask us for further clarification.

General terms (applying to the provision of all goods and services)

Estimates

Estimates are provided verbally either at the time of booking the appointment or during the consultation itself. Written estimates are available on request. All estimates given are only approximate, and the final fee could be higher or lower than this estimate depending on complications during treatment and patient response to treatment. We will endeavour to contact you as soon as we have reason to believe that the costs could be significantly higher than the estimate.

Fees

All fees for services and prices for goods (including food, accessories and drugs) are subject to VAT at the applicable rate (currently 20% for standard-rated items). Prices for goods are as marked or notified at the point of purchase. A full fee breakdown will appear on your invoice.

Fees for services include our professional fees in respect of the veterinary services provided along with the cost of any drugs, materials or consumables used in the provision of the services. Professional fees vary according to the time spent on a case, and the level of expertise required of the staff looking after your animal.

Payments

Please refer to the specific terms regarding payment for small animal work below.

The following general payment terms apply in all cases.

If you become unable to pay your account according to the standard terms, this must be discussed with the veterinary practice as soon as possible.

In the absence of any other arrangement agreed with the veterinary surgeon, accounts not settled within our standard terms will be subject to a late payment interest charge of 5% above the Bank of England base rate accruing from the date payment should have been received until final settlement.

If you do not pay your invoice when it falls due we shall take such action as we consider appropriate to recover our fees which may include engaging third party debt collection agencies to recover the outstanding fees and/or instigating proceedings against you in the county court. In such cases, any costs levied by the debt collection agency will be added on to the outstanding balance owed by you and/or we will seek to recover any legal expenses from you. Please note that the use of debt collection agencies and the county court could affect your future credit rating.

We shall be entitled to suspend the provision of any further goods and/or services until you have paid any outstanding sums in full. Where we consider it appropriate to do so we may require payment on account before goods and/or services are provided.

Prescriptions

Written prescriptions are available from this practice. You will be advised of the prescription charge when you contact the practice. Prescription charges are applied only when you request a prescription from us but go elsewhere to have the prescription filled. Animals requiring repeat prescriptions will need to be re-assessed periodically by the veterinary surgeon dealing with the case. The re-examination interval will vary between clinical cases. Please give us 24 hours’ notice for any requests for a repeat or written prescription. There is a charge for a re-examination, details of which will be provided on enquiry.

Please note that we cannot accept the return of any prescription drugs as such items cannot be resold. If you wish us to safely dispose of any unwanted medication we can do so.

Client records

Client and clinical records, and other such similar documents (including, but not limited to, imaging results), are and shall remain the property of Hopwood Pets Limited. Copies of clinical records may be passed to another veterinary surgeon on request should you move surgeries.

We never discuss or sell confidential records to any third party other than if you move surgeries or are referred to another veterinary surgeon.

Liability

Our liability in respect of all and any claims, damages or losses arising in respect of the goods and/or services provided by us or arising in connection with any attendance at our practice or attendance at any property by one of our vets shall be limited in accordance with our insurance cover as detailed above. In the event of any uninsured claims, damages or losses our liability shall be limited to the value of the goods and/or services to which the claim, damages or loss relates.

Data protection

When you register your animal with our practice or request that we provide veterinary services we will collect personal data about you and, where relevant, your employees and/or agents. We will only collect data that we need to perform the services, take payment or contact you such as names, contact details and possibly some financial details. Please note that we may pass your details to debt collection agencies or our legal advisers for the purpose of recovering unpaid fees if you do not pay invoices when they fall due. We will contact you via post with regards to vaccine reminders unless we are advised otherwise by yourselves.

We comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will take reasonable precautions to ensure that your data is kept securely, used appropriately and is not shared with third parties except as required for the purposes outlined above. You are entitled to be provided with details of the data that we hold about you upon request.

Complaints

We pride ourselves on offering a quality service, and take customer complaints seriously. Should we not meet your expectations on any aspect of our service, please let us know at the time where possible.

Alternatively, should you wish to raise a formal complaint, we ask that you contact the practice in writing within three months of the complaint event. Mrs Cara Alma will then investigate your complaint in accordance with our complaints procedure.

Additional terms applying for small animal work only

Payment

You must pay for all goods (including drugs) at the point of purchase.

You must pay for all services as they are received. You will be advised exactly when payments are due depending upon the nature of the services that we provide to you but you should expect to make payments at the end of each consultation and upon the discharge of your pet from our care. In the event that your pet is hospitalised we may require part payment in advance of any period of hospitalisation and/or stage payments for longer periods of hospitalisation. If your pet is hospitalised we will try to phone you each day to discuss the progress of your animal and the fees incurred once the veterinary surgeon has completed their morning rounds.

Payment is accepted by cash, debit/ credit card, or BACS transfer. Please note that if a pet is registered with our practice we will assume that any person other than the registered pet owner who may bring the pet in for treatment is duly authorised by the registered pet owner to seek treatment for the pet and to incur costs for which the registered pet owner will be liable. Where a pet is not registered with our practice we will assume that the individual requesting treatment accepts liability for all costs incurred.

Insurance

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

You must advise us prior to any treatment if you wish us to submit a claim to your insurer in respect of our fees and complete an Insurance Claim Declaration. If you do not advise us in advance that you us to submit a claim directly to your insurer you will be liable to pay our fees as they become due and may then seek to recoup the cost from your insurer yourself.

Home visits

In most cases your pet will receive better treatment if it is brought into the surgery where we have the equipment, facilities and staff necessary to treat them. However, there are some cases when it may be preferable to provide treatment at your home. We ask that you call the surgery in the morning so we can arrange this around other duties. There is an additional charge for a home visit. You will be provided with an estimate of fees when calling to book a visit.

Out of hours care and hospitalisation

We have provisions in place to provide emergency care for outside normal surgery hours. Our out of hours service is provided by Clent Hills Veterinary Centre, Bromsgrove. Further details concerning the precise arrangements for emergency service are available in the practice.