Terms and conditions of trade
Ownership of Records
Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Witten Lodge Veterinary Centre Ltd. Copies of a summary of the history will be passed on by request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
We provide a 24 hr emergency service for our patients. Outside of our normal hours when telephoning Witten Park Vets (01237 473278) or East The Water (01237 422657) you will be able to speak to the duty nurse. Out of hours telephone calls are answered by qualified nurses from VetsNow, the Uk’s largest dedicated provider of emergency veterinary care. The duty nurse will provide advice and information and if your pet needs to be seen they will ring the vet on call. The duty vet will then give you a call to arrange an appointment at Witten Park Vets.
Hospitalisation of Animals
If hospitalisation of your pet is deemed necessary, an assessment will be made as to the level of care that is needed during the hospitalisation period. This may vary from regular checks by a vet and 24 hour onsite staff; up to 24 hour nursing and regular checks by the duty vet.
We provide home visits where necessary as a service to our clients, particularly for euthanasia of registered pets. However, pets are often better treated at the surgery where all the drugs, diagnostics and nursing help are available. Due to the unpredictability of the nature of work at a veterinary surgery, sometimes it is not possible to fit in a non-urgent visit on the day of request; however, please phone through your request early in the morning and we will do our best.
All fees, food and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and according to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. A detailed statement is available for every consultation, surgical procedure and transaction with us.
Methods of Payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of the pet or upon collection of medicines. You may settle your account using cash or credit/debit card.
Estimates of Treatment Costs
We will provide a written estimate of the probable costs of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate, as a pet’s illness will often not follow a conventional course. We will however keep you up to date on costs if requested.
We operate a cash accounting service and services and goods must be paid for prior to leaving the practice. Should the account not be settled at the time of treatment for some reason, then payment must be received with in 7 days. If the fees have still not been paid at the end of the month a statement will be sent out with an additional accounting fee (60p) in respect of the administrative costs incurred. Should it be necessary for additional statements to be sent, further charges will be incurred (£6.00). After due notice, overdue accounts will be referred to a debt recovery agency and further charges (usually 20% of the outstanding amount) will be levied in respect of costs incurred. 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 principal sum.
We recommend insuring your pet against unforeseen accidents and illnesses. We usually require clients to settle their account with us and we then claim the fees back from the insurance company for you. For more information on pet insurance please visit our Pet Insurance page
We hope that you never have a reason to complain about the standard of care you and your pet have received. If you do feel the need to make a complaint please speak to one of our staff members who will hopefully be able to resolve the problem. Otherwise please write to us and we will contact you as soon as we have been able to investigate your complaint.
Variations in Terms of Trading
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the Practice directors. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the Practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.