Terms and Conditions

Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet(s) to The Vet Whitehaven.
Detailed below are our Terms & Conditions. Some aspects of the terms may not be relevant to you. Please ask for further explanation or clarification if required.

To maintain accurate records of our clients and patients we will periodically ask you to confirm the details that we hold for you.  If your details change, please inform us, so that we can ensure our database is as up to date as possible.

All fees, food, reception sales and drugs are subject to VAT.  Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case, and the drugs, materials, consumables, and diets used. You will receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure and transaction with us.  All prices quoted, whether on our price list or in an estimate, are inclusive of the current rate of VAT.

Methods of Payment.
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of each consultation or procedure and when you collect drugs, diets or reception sales.  
You may settle the account using cash or credit/debit card, but we are unable to accept cheques.
If you do not pay your invoice when it becomes due, we shall take such action as we consider appropriate to recover our fees, which may include engaging third party debt collection agencies 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 are 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.

Return of unused drugs.
We are happy to accept unused medications 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.

Repeat or written prescriptions for our clients are available at 48 hours notice.  
Animals requiring ongoing medications must be re-assessed periodically by one of our vets.
This re-examination interval will vary between clinical cases, up to a maximum of 6 months. There is a charge for a re-examination, details of which will be provided on enquiry ,unless you are a member of The Vet Club 365 or The Vet Check-up 365.
Prescription charges are applied when you request a written prescription from us, but go elsewhere e.g. online or to a pharmacy, to have the prescription filled.

Pet Health Insurance.
The Vet Whitehaven strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accident. For invoices over £300, we can claim directly with the insurer once you provide a completed claim form and proof of a current and valid insurance policy. We also require that the policy excess (and any co-payments or exclusions) are paid to us when you collect your pet following a procedure. If your insurance company fails to pay the outstanding balance, then you will be responsible for paying this upon notification that this has occurred.  
If you are concerned that your insurance company will not cover the costs, it may be possible to submit a pre-authorisation prior to the treatment being carried out (if treatment is not very time sensitive) which will give indication whether the insurance company are likely to pay.

Estimates of Treatment Costs.
We endeavour always to provide you with a close estimate of treatment costs, but please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate. A pet’s illness might not follow a conventional course and unforeseen expense may occur. We will inform you of any additional costs as soon as we can, whilst prioritising you pet’s welfare.

Out of Hours Service.
The Vet Whitehaven is open Monday to Friday 8:00am to 6.30pm, Saturday 8:00am to 4:00pm and Sunday 9:00am-12:00pm.
Outside of these hours all emergencies will be answered by our Vet on call.
If you require emergency treatment for your pet please call our usual number (01946 878108).
For optimal continuity of care, we at The Vet Whitehaven provide our own Out-of-Hours service.
You will always see our own veterinary surgeons who will have immediate access to your pet’s clinical history.
We are a small team and do not staff the premises 24/7, so, should your pet require treatment outside of normal opening hours, the vet will travel from their local home into the practice to see your pet.
There is a surcharge made for the Out-of-Hours service, over and above the normal consultation fee. The cost varies depending on the time of the day or night which reflects the unsociability of the hours and the costs of providing 24-hour cover.
Animals which are hospitalised outside our normal working hours will be checked and treated as frequently their clinical needs demand; if the Veterinary Surgeon is satisfied that your pet is stable then it may be left for periods of time between checks.

Home visits.
Home visits are available at an extra charge and if booked in advance.  In an emergency it is usually in the best interests of your pet to be seen at the surgery where full facilities and medications are on hand.  It is not normally possible to carry out home visits outside normal working hours, although this is at the discretion of the Emergency Veterinary Surgeon.

Written, signed consent is required in all cases of procedures and admission to the hospital.
Any alterations to the case plan will be agreed, where possible, prior to action being taken.  Your consent is also required for the use of medications in species for which they were not licensed e.g., Rabbits and rodents. In this case a consent form will be provided to allow this to be done without asking for specific permission in each separate case.  These drugs are used under the “Cascade”, when there is no other appropriate licensed drug for the species being treated, but have a recognised and proven activity and efficiency.  

Consent is also required if your pet is hospitalised into our care out of hours.
If the situation evolves further, and different procedures are required whilst your pet is in our care, we may obtain verbal consent over the phone, which will then be documented on your pet’s clinical record, rather than asking you to return to sign an updated form.

We aim always to provide the highest standard of patient and client care and hope that our service does not give you cause for complaint.  However, if you do have a grievance please contact a member of our reception staff in the first instance. Our Client Care Manager will assist with any issues that remain unresolved and where appropriate they will escalate the matter to the Partners.  If you wish to put your complaint in writing then you can either send it to us via email (hello@thevetwhitehaven.co.uk) or post it to our centre’s address for the attention of the Client Care Manager.

We understand that sometimes it is unavoidable, but if you need to cancel or rearrange your appointment, please give as much notice as possible.
If you consistently fail to attend appointments, or cancel giving us less than 24hr notice, then we reserve the right to ask for a non-refundable payment in advance for any future booked appointments.

Monitoring Telephone Calls and Emails.
Telephone calls, emails and messages via social media to and from the practice may be recorded or monitored.  By using such communication methods, you are consenting to the recording or monitoring of the same. The exception being that, whilst taking payment over the phone, we will pause the recording so as not to capture any of your payment details.

The Vet Whitehaven pride ourselves on safety and security to protect our staff, our clients and patients.  We have cameras situated throughout the building and carpark.  The recordings are not closely monitored but, in the event of an incident, we reserve the right to use CCTV as an aid to resolving any situation which may arise.