Terms & Conditions

Registration

It is important for us to maintain accurate records of our clients and patients. In order to do this, we will often ask you to confirm the details we hold. If your details change, please inform us so we may ensure our data base is as up to date as possible.

Payment terms and Methods of payment

Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diets.
You may settle your account using: Cash, Credit/Debit card; Maestro, solo, MasterCard, VISA, Delta, Amex and online payments through the Donaldson’s Payment Portal.

We do not accept cheques unless covered by a cheque guarantee card and by prior arrangement.

Settlement terms

Should an account not be settled in accordance with these terms we reserve the right to escalate your account to a Debt Collection Agency or Solicitor. All costs and charges may be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt: such as court fees, correspondence, court attendance, phone calls, etc. Any cheque returned by our bank as unpaid, any card payment not honoured, and cash tendered found to be counterfeit will result in the original account being returned to the original sum with further charges added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs.

Inability to pay

If for any reason you are unable to settle your account as specified, we ask you to discuss the matter prior to treatment with a member of staff.

Fees

All fees, diets and drugs charges include 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.

Estimates of treatment costs

We will provide on request a written estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course. We will provide the details of the price of any medicine stocked or sold on request.

Consent

Written signed consent for procedures is required in all cases when admitting a patient and may alter as the diagnostics and treatment continue. Any alterations will be discussed over the phone. 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 lifetime consent can be provided to allow this to be done without asking for specific permission in each and every separate case.

Written prescriptions are available from this practice

You may obtain relevant veterinary medicinal products from your veterinary surgeon OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy. There is a charge for this service. However, you will be responsible for sourcing these medications from a suitable supplier and should bear in mind that delay in the start of treatment may not be in the best interests of the welfare of your pet.

You will have to pay any supplier separately for any drugs, which costs will be at their market rate. In circumstances where it is essential to begin treatment immediately then prescriptions will not be offered. This is most likely to be in the case of injectable medications where a delay would be unacceptable. Prescriptions will not be issued for similar drugs used in anaesthesia or emergency situations.

Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe relevant veterinary medicinal products only following a clinical assessment of an animal under his or her care.

A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary. You will be informed, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions for/supplies of relevant veterinary medicinal products every 6 months, (12 months for flea and worm treatments) but this may vary with individual circumstances.

The standard charge for a medication check is £39.61. The price of a written prescription is £32.06. Please speak to the Veterinary Surgeon or Reception for the price of medicines.

Return of unused drugs

We are happy to accept unused medications back into the practice for disposal only. Drugs which have left the premises and are no longer fit for resale cannot be refunded. Drugs purchased from any other supplier will not be accepted for disposal.

Pet health insurance

Donaldson’s Vets strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. We are willing to do direct claims for the majority of insurance companies subject to certain conditions. If you would like us to process a direct claim on your behalf, please note that we require you to pay in full any excesses, deductions & treatments not covered by your insurance company.

Any gap between insurance cover and our invoice remains the responsibility of the client. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. For further information visit https://donaldsonsvets.co.uk/home/pet-insurance/

Out of hours cover

Donaldson’s Vets runs 365-day, 24-hour emergency service. Initial contact should be made via the usual telephone number.

Second Opinions and referrals

Donaldson’s Vets are happy to see second opinions from other Vets. We require access to your pets’ previous medical records prior to booking an appointment and seeing your pet. If you would like a second opinion, please contact your nearest branch and they will be happy to advise you on the process.

If you would like a second opinion for your pet that is being treated with us, then please speak to the treating vet. We have a large team of veterinary surgeons who would be to see your pet for a second opinion.

If you would like your pet seen at an alternative practice, then we will be happy to forward all clinical notes with your permission to the practice who will be seeing your pet.

Our large team of vets have interests in different areas of Veterinary medicine. However, there will be times when our Vets advise that your pet may need to attend a specialist referral practice. For referrals, with your permission, we will organise the appointment and arrange for all of the relevant clinical information to be forwarded to the referral centre in advance of your appointment.

Home visits

In the vast majority of circumstances, pets are best cared for in the surgery setting where the veterinary surgeon has access to the full range of medicines, equipment and facilities available for every eventuality, particularly in emergencies.

We do understand that in some situations, you may wish to ask for a veterinary surgeon to visit your home. Donaldson’s Vets will always do our best to accommodate your wishes. However, there may be some circumstances when it is not possible to send a veterinary surgeon and nurse away from the surgery where (for example) there may be critically ill or injured patients present, or where the condition of the patient means that safe and effective care cannot be appropriately provided in the location requested.

In the event of such a situation arising, we may be unable to attend and will advise you that this is the case. We will always make arrangements to see your pet at our surgery promptly and may be able to offer advice on transport options if needed.

Complaints and Standards

Donaldson’s Vets aims to provide the best quality service we can for you and your pet. We hope you never feel the need to complain to us, but if you would like to make a complaint then please do so in writing and addressed to the Director at your branch, or the Customer Care Manager. Please note that all complaints must be received within 30 days of the appointment date. Complaints can be emailed to: admin@donaldsonsvets.co.uk We aim to respond to all complaints within 10-14 working days.

Standards of conduct expected of our clients

  • Just as clients are entitled to expect appropriate standards of care, service and value for money from us, the directors and staff are entitled to expect appropriate standards of conduct and behaviour whilst serving our patients and our clients.
  • Donaldsons Vets definition of  ‘appropriate’ standards of conduct and behaviour is as follows; clients are not entitled to speak to us or treat us in a manner that would be considered inappropriate should we do the same to them.  This includes
    • Swearing
    • Aggressive, abusive or intimidating behaviour towards members of staff.
    • Defamation on social media without drawing our attention to a concern.
  • Should such instances occur, Donaldsons Vets reserves the right to de-register the client and their pets.

Clinical records

Your pet’s clinical records, including radiographs, ultrasound scan records and laboratory test reports remain the property of Donaldson’s Vets and will be kept under the terms of the Data Protection Act (1998). You are entitled to see the records on request. Your pet’s records will be sent to another veterinary surgeon on request from them. If you require a copy for your personal use, a charge maybe made at the rate for administrative work.

Ownership of radiographs and similar records

The care given to your pet may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these examinations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph remains with the practice.

Repeat examinations

It is necessary both for the welfare of your pet and to meet legal obligations, for this practice to re-examine animals receiving long term medications. The interval will vary with the condition and the medication but will be no longer than every 6 months. The prevailing examination fee will be charged for that consultation.

No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the Directors. No agent of person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.

Missed appointments

All consultations are by appointment only. Clients are requested to inform the surgery in advance, preferably at least 24 hours before your appointment time, if you wish to cancel or reschedule your appointment. We reserve the right to charge for missed appointments, or for appointments cancelled or changed at short notice. Every effort is made to accommodate clients and to find available appointment slots.

Reminders

Reminders for vaccinations, flea/worming treatment, and appointment reminders are sent as a complimentary service to our clients, however these are computer generated and are not infallible. Donaldson’s Vets accepts no liability for any loss, damage or costs which may result from the failure of a client to receive reminders. We would advise you to make a note of when your pet’s vaccinations and preventative treatments are due. You are responsible for maintaining pet vaccinations and preventative care.