Thank you for entrusting your horse’s care to the team at OVH. We are committed to providing the highest standards of care for our patients and to communicating fully with you. This document sets out our Practice Terms and Conditions which, together with the information on our website, hopes to answer any questions you may have. Should there be anything you feel unsure about, please feel free to contact us directly and we will be happy to help.

Fees

All professional fees, consumables and charges for drugs and services are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case, the level of intensity of investigation and treatment used, the expertise required and the technical equipment used, in addition to the costs of drugs, materials and consumables used.

From December 2019 Oakham Veterinary Hospital (OVH) will charge a reasonable fee for completing insurance forms from insurance companies; this fee reflects the time that both our vets and office staff have to invest in completing this paperwork. A standard fee will be charged per insurance claim; the price we charge is currently £12.

You agree to pay to OVH all costs and expenses that may be incurred whilst your animal is under the care of OVH. You understand that if complications occur, the costs, which you will be liable for, may well be in excess of those first anticipated.

You accept that Out of Hours calls and consultations will attract additional charges depending on the time of day/night.

You will understand that quite often the investigation and treatment of accident, illness and injury does not follow a predictable “standard” course, and therefore costs may vary and be difficult to predict accurately. Where complex or costly investigation and treatment is anticipated, we will discuss this with you and provide you with an estimate where possible. If specifically requested, we will provide you with a written estimate but, unless stated to the contrary, such an estimate will be for guidance only. We will endeavour to inform you of significant changes from the estimate throughout the progress of each case investigation/treatment but this may not always be possible.

Invoicing and payment terms

An itemised invoice will be produced at the conclusion of investigation and/or treatment. Established, registered clients of OVH will normally be invoiced at the end of each month, or sooner, if the investigation and/or treatment has been concluded.

Unless otherwise agreed, clients will be invoiced at the conclusion of investigation/ treatment, and payment in full will be expected prior to discharge from the hospital.

For clients that are referred to OVH and do not have a pre-existing account and record of good payment we require a deposit of £500 for non-surgical cases or £1000 for surgical cases.

Unless agreed otherwise, our invoices are payable on receipt.

OVH will charge account fees at a rate of 2% for clients who do not pay their invoices in a timely manner. In the event of non-payment, you will be liable for our costs of recovery (including legal fees) and in addition we may refer your account to a debt collection agency and their fees will also be added to your debt and will be payable by you. Similarly, in the event that court action is necessary, all associated costs, including legal fees, will be claimed from you and these additional costs are likely to increase significantly your indebtedness to OVH.

Inpatient Care

1. On admission a nurse will discuss and record patients usual daily routine, feed and forage regime on an admission sheet.

2.All inpatients have routine TPR's performed at the beginning and end of the working day.

3. From the end of the working day (usually around 6pm) the patients are in the care of the on duty nurse and intern. The duty vet will be available as required.

4. All inpatients are checked routinely at 8pm and midnight. In addition any intensive care or post surgery cases will be checked by the on call team as required by the surgical team and case vet.

5. At 8pm all horses are checked, fed and watered. Any required medications will be administered by either a nurse, intern or students under supervision.

Second Opinion

You may wish to seek a second opinion if reasonable progress is not being made or you are dissatisfied with the way we are treating your horse. You have every right to request a second opinion from a different veterinary surgeon either within OVH or outside. A client should not attempt to obtain a second opinion from a new veterinary surgeon without the full knowledge of OVH and this, apart from the ethical aspects, has a very valid reason. Co-operation between referring and referee veterinary surgeons allows transmission of vital information, thus saving unnecessary repetition of x-rays, tests and treatment. Additionally, the current treatment and any adverse drug reactions can be reported, which obviously is essential for the horse’s well-being. OVH will supply whatever information is available about the case, including relevant past case history, immediate past case history, including findings, treatment and response, x-rays, laboratory and other test results.

Methods of payment

The following methods are acceptable: 

Cards: Mastercard, Visa, Visa Debit, Delta. 

BACS: For this method please see our bank details on your invoice, or contact our accounts department. 

Cash.

Cheques (which should be made payable to Oakham Veterinary Hospital) will be acceptable at the discretion of OVH.

Equine Insurance Oakham Veterinary Hospital strongly supports the principle of insuring animals against unexpected accident, illness or injury.

For all routine referrals you must inform your insurance company prior to your appointment that you have been referred to OVH and the nature of the condition/proposed treatment. In the case of an emergency or a first opinion case the insurance company should be contacted at the earliest opportunity.

Most insurance companies will require us to complete a claim form to be signed by the attending vet and returned to them together with a copy of the veterinary report and invoice. Provided that the insurance company has agreed the claim in principle, and that you have not made payment to us direct in advance of a claim, we require that payments of claims by insurance companies are made direct to us. To fulfil this requirement you must ensure that your insurance claim form is appropriately signed and you have instructed your insurance company to pay OVH directly. Please be aware that the cost of some aspects of the animal’s care may not be covered by insurance (e.g. policy excess, hospitalisation).

These costs, together with any costs subsequently rejected by your insurance company, and any fees over the insured amount must be paid directly by you to OVH. Regardless of whether the animal is insured, the entire bill remains your responsibility until it is paid in full. A belief or understanding on your part that your insurers will meet some or all of our charges will not be a defence in respect of any claim we make against you for non-payment.

Passports

It is a legal requirement that all horses, ponies and donkeys must have a valid passport. This must accompany the animal during transport, and we will ask to check this at the time of admission/examination. You must endorse your passport (normally section IX in an old passport and section II in a new passport) to confirm whether the animal is/is not intended for human consumption. If your animal’s passport is presented to us unsigned, we reserve the right to sign this as not intended for human consumption. This will allow us to treat the animal according to its clinical needs and to ensure that it never enters the human food chain. In exceptional circumstances, where a passport is not available, a detailed record of medicinal products administered to the animal will be retained. You will need to keep a record of this treatment. This information is provided on your invoice.

Our Staff

We are committed to providing a work environment that is free from harassment, bullying, intimidation, violence or abuse and we will not tolerate any behaviour which is contrary to this. If our staff reasonably believe that you are acting in an inappropriate manner we reserve the right to: (a) require you to leave the Practice; (b) suspend the provision of the Services; (c) contact the relevant authorities to ensure the safety and security of our staff, other clients, animals and property; and (d) terminate your account

Ownership of records

All records, images and tissue samples acquired during the course of clinical investigation and/or treatment shall remain the property of Oakham Veterinary Hospital.

This accumulated information may be used for the purposes of clinical research and veterinary education, including publications and presentations at professional or lay-person meetings. Information used for such purposes will be completely anonymised such that no identifying data (client or animal name) will be apparent.

Confidentiality and Data Protection

Oakham Veterinary Hospital recognise that client confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Save as required to perform the agreed services or as required by law, we will not pass any of your personal identifiable details to third parties without your permission (including permission given in these Terms and Conditions).

We use any personal data we collect in accordance with our Privacy Notice. Further information regarding your rights with respect to your Personal Data can also be found in our Privacy Policy which can be found on the homepage of our website.

Complaints

Oakham Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing an excellent service and the highest standards of patient care. One of the ways in which we can continue to improve is by listening and responding to the views of our clients this includes responding positively on the occasions when expectations are not met.

We hope that we will always be given the opportunity to address any concerns, most of which can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and directly with the person concerned.

If, however, you are not satisfied, please put your concerns in writing to The Practice Manager, Oakham Veterinary Hospital, Ashwell Road, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 7QH

Please be aware that if you leave things too long after the event, it may be impossible to investigate the complaint properly; therefore it is always best to alert us to any concerns you may have at the time. To help us to help you, please provide as much detail as possible with regards to dates, times, personnel involved and the nature of the complaint and the outcome you are hoping for.

All written complaints will be acknowledged within five working days, detailing the proposed actions, how we will keep you updated and the timescales involved. The time from complaint to resolution can vary depending on the individual circumstances, availability of personnel and complexity of the problem. Please note that to maintain a quality service, we may monitor or record phone calls.

 

Statutory Rights

These terms and conditions do not affect your statutory rights.