We comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and we strive to use client details only for the purpose of our business and the benefit of your pets.
Information will only be shared with referral practices, Insurance claims, references for pet adoption and history if requested from another veterinary Practice. Client Details may on occasions be passed to other clinically relevant companies, e.g. registering microchips, external laboratories.
It is your right to request where we share your details. However, in some situations, your details may be required to be passed to third parties for the purposes outlined below.
- 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.
- From time to time we may also use your contact details to provide you with information about new services or special offers offered by Benfleet veterinary surgery
Ownership of Records
Clinical notes, radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Benfleet veterinary surgery . Even though a charge may be made for carrying out and interpreting the results, ownership of the resulting record remains the property of the practice. Upon request, copies of records with a summary of history of your animal (s) will be passed on to another Veterinary Surgeon taking over the treatment and care of your animals
The fees are determined by levels of expertise and time spent on a case and cost for drugs and consumables used. All fees are subject to VAT at the current rate.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
A written estimate can be provided at the time of initial consultation as to the likely costs of investigation, treatment or surgical procedure. Any estimate given can only be approximate and additional costs, which cannot be predicted at the outset, may occur as treatments progresses. We will make every reasonable effort to discuss any such additional costs wherever possible.
Written estimates are valid for one month and as they are estimates only, they may not reflect the final costs incurred.
Payment is due at the time of treatment or discharge unless alternative arrangements have been agreed in advance.
Should an account not be settled, a reminder will be sent. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, administration charges will be incurred. After due notice, unpaid accounts will be referred to our debt collection agency and further charges, such as for the production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court and phone calls will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt.
Inability to Pay
If you are unable to settle your account as specified, we ask you to discuss the matter with a member of staff before treatment provided.
Instalments or part payment of any account may be agreed with the permission of the practice owner but any such arrangement must be agreed before treatment takes place.
Emergency treatment to alleviate suffering will always be given irrespective of ability to pay.
Methods of Payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of medicines.
You may settle your accounts using cash or credit/debit cards. Card payments can be taken over the phone for your convenience.
Benfleet Veterinary Surgery strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents.
Upon completion of full payment by you, your claim form will be completed and signed as soon as possible in order to allow you to make claim directly.
In certain instances, when clients unable make payments in full, we accept direct insurance claims at the discretion of the practice owner. But this only applies to particular insurance companies and even then, when sums involved are high enough. This arrangement may require process of “preauthorization” by your insurance company and should be made prior to commencing of treatment.
If at any point the insurer refuses payment for a direct claim, the owner will still be fully liable for all costs incurred. The insurance policy is a private agreement between the owner and insurer. The practice cannot be involved in disputes over non-payment of insurance claims. We allow 28 days from completion of claim form to receiving settlement. Should the insurer not
settle within that time period, the owner may be required to settle the outstanding fees in full.
Whilst we make every reasonable effort to send out reminders for annual vaccinations, the responsibility to keep them up to date remains with you.
Medications and Prescriptions
We can only prescribe medications of animals that are registered with our Practice and already been treated by one of our Veterinary Surgeons. To comply with current Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons we cannot supply medications or prescriptions without prior check up of your pet.
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.
Animals requiring repeat prescriptions will need to be re-assessed periodically by the veterinary surgeon under his or her care. The re-examination interval will vary between clinical cases. This interval usually every 3 months but this may vary depending on the health status of your pet and type of medicines prescribed. Clients are requested to give 48 hours’ notice for repeat prescriptions.
As many of parasitic medications (flea , mites, tick and worms) are prescription only medicines, we are only able to dispense such products without the need of an examination when an animal has been examined by a Veterinary Surgeon in the last 12 months
If you wish to buy prescription only medicines from chemists or on-line pharmacies you will require a written prescription and a Veterinary Surgeon Assessment of your pet.
The current charge for a written prescription per condition and veterinary surgeon’s assessment is displayed in our reception areas or you may ask a member of staff for this information.