Terms and Conditions

1. Fees 

1.1 All fees, diets and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. 
1.2 Fee levels are determined according to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used, together with the type of work undertaken

2. Estimates of Treatment costs 

2.1 When requested, we will happily provide an estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment. 
2.2 Please bear in mind that any estimates given can only be approximate; often an animal’s illness will not follow a conventional course.
2.3 We will provide the cost of any medicine stocked or sold when requested.

3. Settlement Terms

3.1 Itemised bills will be provided with every transaction. Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diets. We take a £500 deposit on admission.
3.2 Should an account not be settled within our payment terms a reminder will be sent with an additional fee in respect of administrative costs incurred.
3.3 We reserve the right to add interest to overdue accounts at the rate of 8% over base lending rate.
3.4 Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, further charges will be incurred. 
3.5 After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and/or pursued through legal channels.  Further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, such as, but not limited to, production of reports, phone calls, home visits etc., court and other legal fees
3.6 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 being added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs, together with interest on the principle sum.

4. Methods of Payment

4.1 You may settle your account using cash, electronic bank transfer or Credit/Debit card.

5. Inability to pay

5.1 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 instalments or part payments of any account may ONLY be sanctioned with the express permission of a director or senior finance officer

6. Client Financial Referencing & Guarantors

6.1 We reserve the right to reference current or prospective clients’ credit worthiness. This will include credit referencing agencies, County Court Judgements and payment history with previous veterinary practices. Clients that are required to be invoiced via a Limited Company address may be requested to provide a guarantor.  We also reserve the right to request and retain copies of proof of identity and address.

7. Media and photography

7.1 All consultations at Hamilton Specialist Referrals are recorded and may be used for educational or marketing purposes. If you do NOT give consent for this footage to be released please inform a member of the reception team as soon as you arrive.
7.2 From time to time television crews will be present at Hamilton Specialist Referrals. If you do NOT wish to be filmed, please inform a member of the reception team as soon as you arrive.
7.3 Photographs of your pet may on occasion be used for educational or marketing purposes, please let us know if you would prefer this not to happen.
7.4 Out of respect for other owners and patients we ask that you do not take photographs on the premises

8. Pet Health insurance

8.1 Hamilton Specialist Referrals strongly support the principle of insuring your animal against unexpected illness or accidents.
8.2 Please note that it is your responsibility to settle our account within our payment terms and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.  By specific arrangement we may defer this requirement on the basis that your insurance form is signed so payment is made direct to us and that the insurance company have agreed to the claim in principle. You will need to pay for any excess and costs not covered by insurance (e.g. boarding) within the normal terms, and any costs later rejected by your insurance company. Hamilton Specialist Referrals require a £250 deposit to be paid upfront by the client ahead of ALL direct insurance claims.
8.3 We do not conduct any treatment or procedure subject to the costs being covered by your insurance company. 8.4 We are not allowed to liaise or negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

9. Consent

9.1 Written signed consent for procedures is required in all cases of admission to the hospital and any alterations will be agreed prior to action being taken.  
9.2 Signed Financial Consent is required for all procedures, whether they are going through insurance or are being paid directly by the client.
9.2 Consent is also required for the use of medications in species for which they were not licensed e.g. rabbits. In this case a consent form will be provided to allow this to be done without asking for specific permission in each and every separate case. This is required as the majority of veterinary drugs are not licensed for use in small mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians and invertebrates. We must then use drugs which have a proven activity and efficacy, despite this lack of licence.

10. Complaints and Standards

10.1 Hamilton Specialist Referrals always strive to provide the highest level of care for both our patients and clients, and hope that you never feel the need to make a complaint. If, however, you do wish to complain, written complaints should be directed to the Practice Director via lisa@hamiltonspecialists.vet within seven days of receiving the invoice.

11. Ownership of Clinical Records, Diagnostic Images and Laboratory Results

11.1 Case records and similar documents are the property of, and shall be retained by, the practice. Your pet’s clinical records, including radiographs, ultrasound scan records and laboratory test reports remain the property of Hamilton Specialist Referrals and will be kept under the terms of the Data Protection Act (1998). Copies with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
11.2 The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example, taking radiographs or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we charge a fee for carrying out these investigations and interpreting the results, ownership of the resulting record, for example, a radiograph remains the property of Hamilton Specialist Referrals.  You are entitled to see the records on request and if necessary an appropriate appointment to view them will be made. Copies of your pet’s history, diagnostic images and a with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.

12.   Out of Hours Service
12.1 The practice operates an out of hours service for emergencies.
11.2 The out of hours service can be accessed by telephoning the practice phone number (01494 578566) and the call will be answered by a duty nurse who can contact the duty veterinarian as necessary.

13.   Return of Unused Drugs

13.1 Hamilton Specialist Referrals is willing and able to accept unused medication back into the practice for disposal only. However, as drugs which have left the premises are no longer fit for resale, no refund can be given. Drugs purchased from any other supplier will not be accepted for disposal.

14.   Repeat Examinations

14.1 It is necessary both for the welfare of your pet and to meet legal obligations, for this practice to re-examine animals receiving long term medication. The interval will vary with the condition and the medication but will be no longer than every 6 months. The prevailing examination fee will be charged for that consultation. 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 of or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.

15.   Data Protection

15.1 We may obtain, use, process and disclose personal data about you in order that we may discharge our duties as your veterinary surgeon under these standard terms of business, and for other related purposes including updating and enhancing client records, analysis for management purposes and statutory returns, crime prevention and legal and regulatory compliance.  You have a right of access, under data protection legislation, to the personal data that we hold about you.  We confirm that when processing data on your behalf we will comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Data Controller in relation to personal data supplied about you is the practice director.