TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
Thomas Small Animal Practice Limited
Trading as Longridge Vets
54, PRESTON ROAD, LONGRIDGE, PRESTON PR3 3AY
This Veterinary practice is an independently owed and run practice trading as Longridge Vets (Our/us/we). Our registered Company name is Thomas Small Animal Practice Ltd. The Directors of which are Paul and Jill Thomas. We are registered as a Limited Company in England and Wales, registration no 8819647. We are VAT registered, no. 179490755.
This document sets out our terms of business, and forms a Contract between you (your) (the animal owner/carer, or person requesting veterinary care) and Thomas Small Animal Practice Ltd, T/A Longridge Vets (us/we/our).
Should you have any queries relating to these terms and conditions please do not hesitate to ask us for further clarification.
Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to our practice.
General Terms and Conditions
All fees for services and goods (including drugs, food and pet products) are subject to VAT at the applicable rate (currently 20%). Service fees are determined by the time spent on a case, and the complexity, and may be dependent on the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. A summary of our routine fees is displayed in our waiting room, on our website, and is also available on request. You will receive a detailed receipt for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We will happily provide a written estimate of the likely cost of a course of treatment or operation. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate; often a pet's illness will not follow a conventional course. Depending on ease or complication during an operation the final cost may be higher or lower than the estimate. We endeavour to contact clients as soon as is reasonably possible to advise of this. Estimates are valid for 28 days. Estimates are dependent on the weight of your pet at the time of the estimate. This is because their weight determines the amount of medication your pet needs.
Method of Payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, when taking your pet home, or upon collection of goods (including medication, food or products). Ashes must be paid for on collection. You may settle the account using:
You may wish to claim on your pet insurance policy for the care that we have provided. Insurance companies have become increasingly difficult and slow to deal with. For this reason we currently only provide a direct claim service for Pet Plan and Animal Friends. For either of these companies you will need to:
For other pet insurance companies you will be asked to settle the account in full at the time of collectng your pet/goods/consultation. You will be provided with a fully detailed receipt. Once you have completed your claim form please bring it to the practice. We aim to complete the form and forward it to your insurance Company within two weeks.
For agreed commercial accounts, an invoice will be issued monthly. This must be paid in full within 28 days.
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.
Should an account not be settled without discussion the client will be contacted and then also the following day. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, further charges may be incurred, currently £6 admin charge for repeat invoices. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to a Debt Collection Agency of our choice and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, such as production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits, etc, and any charge from the debt collection Company. 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. Further charges will be added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum.
We will exercise our right to stop further provision of goods and services until the debt has been settled. We have a duty of care to provide emergency pain relief or euthanasia if required but nothing else. In some situations following a period of debt we will insist on payment prior to goods and services.
The veterinary surgeons take a professional decision on whether a medication can be/is required to be prescribed repeatedly. Repeat prescriptions need to be signed by the vet each time prior to dispensing the medication. Therefore it is not usually possible to take the medication away at the time of asking. For repeat prescriptions requested in the morning, if in stock, the medication is usually ready for collectionthe following working day. Our veterinary surgeons cannot issue repeat prescriptions for more than 6 months without seeing the animal (or 12 months for flea and wormer). You must book a routine consultation for this.
We can provide a written prescription for you to take elsewhere to buy the medication. There is a charge for this professional service, and our vets can only issue a prescription that covers 6 months for each drug.
Informed Consent to Treatment and Investigations
By providing consent to an operation/treatment or investigation you are agreeing to our Veterinary Surgeons to proceed with the agreed. Prior to providing consent you should be happy that you have received adequate information. If you do not, then do not hesitate to ask.
Consent can only be obtained from the animal’s owner/provider of care. If you are not the animal’s owner you should not offer your consent. You should make our staff aware of this. All attempts should be made to contact the owner to obtain their consent. However, in an emergency the animal’s wellbeing will take precedence.
In order to reduce the number of missed appointments and so that we can offer all appointments to pets who need an appointment we now charge a missed appointment fee. This is currently £12.00 and will be added to your account after the appointment has been missed. This will not be added when the appointment is cancelled before the appointment time. You have the option of receiving reminder texts for appointments to help you remember appointments.
We always recommend seeing your pet in our practice. We are able to use our facilities, have more staff, and a greater range of medication. However, we understand that there are some circumstances where you may wish for your pet to be seen at home. We ask that you provide as much notice as possible for this. We are not able to offer flexibility in times for this, we have to fit home visits around our clinics and operating times. There is a charge for home visits. This is based on time away from the practice, and on mileage. An estimate can be provided at the time of booking.
Out of Hours Care
The health and wellbeing of our staff is something that we take very seriously, and therefore do not provide out of hours cover in-house.
We have partnered with Vets Now to provide emergency care when we are closed. Their contact number is available on our website or on our phone line when we are closed. We are not a 24 hour hospital and therefore do not provide overnight hospital care. If your pet needs overnight care, with your consent, we can arrange transfer to Vets Now. Vets Now are a third party. Any fees incurred by them are directly payable to Vets Now.
We are open on Saturdays from 08:30-12:00. Saturday appointments are limited and we try to save as many as possible for urgent cases. If you require a routine appointment we respectfully ask that, where possible, you book an appointment during the week. Appointments are available Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 19:00. In order to reduce wasted appointments on Saturdays in the event of failing to attend you will be charged 50% of your appointment fee.
Complaints and Standards
We pride ourselves on providing an outstanding level of service and veterinary care. We hope that you never have cause to complain about the standards of service received from our practice. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to discuss or complain about, please tell a member of staff - they may be able to resolve your concerns there and then. Alternatively you could arrange to speak, or write, to the Non-Clinical Director, Mrs Jill Thomas. We aim to investigate and respond to complaints within 28 days.
Your and your pet’s information will be held confidentially in accordance with GDPR. Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by our practice. Copies with a summary of the history will, with your permission, be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case. The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs, blood samples or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph remains with the practice.
Should you wish to have a copy of any of your pet’s records, then please ask a member of staff who will advise and assist you. There may be an admin charge for this.
Our full privacy notice is available on our website.
We use Easy Direct Debits Limited to collect Direct Debits on our behalf, and your bank statements will show a payment to Easy Direct Debits. For the avoidance of doubt, your agreement is with Longridge Vets. Easy Direct Debits Limited merely provide support to the practice, which includes transferring your payments.
Removal of Clients
We expect our clients to treat our staff as we treat them. We have a zero-tolerance Policy to abuse (verbal or physical), violence or aggression. We expect our clients to treat our staff with respect and conversate politely. In the event of such behaviour towards a staff member, or other person on our property you will be removed from the building immediately. We will inform you that you are no-longer welcome in the practice and should seek to register with another practice. We have a duty of care to provide emergency pain relief or euthanasia if required but nothing else.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by a Company Director. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.
JT November 2023
Thomas Small Animal Practice Ltd, trading as Longridge Vets
Registered Address: 17 St Peters Place, Fleetwood, FY7 6EB.
Registered as a limited Company in England & Wales No. 8819647. Directors are Jill L Thomas & Paul C Thomas.
Vat Registration No: 179490755
Our Direct Debit provider for Vets Deliver: Easy Direct Debits Ltd Registered Address: Ebenezer House, 5a Poole Rd. BH2 5QZ