These terms include important information - please read them carefully. We recommend that you print a copy of these terms for future reference.
By buying veterinary products or services from us through our website or in our practice, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by these terms. If you do not agree to these terms, you must not buy veterinary products or services from us through our website or in our practice.
1.1 What these terms cover. These are the terms and conditions on which we supply veterinary services to you when you are a consumer. Different terms and conditions apply if we supply veterinary services to you when you are a business. If you are a business, you acknowledge that when you register on our website you are only registering your interest in receiving further information from us about our veterinary services, and no contract exists between us until we sign a contract on those business terms and conditions.
1.2 Other terms that apply. The following terms also apply (available on our website) in the following circumstances:
1.3 Why you should read them. Please read these terms carefully before you submit your register to receive services from us. These terms tell you who we are, how we will provide products and services to you, how you and we may change or end the contract, what to do if there is a problem and other important information.
2.1 Who we are. We are Independent Vetcare Limited, trading under the name of the practice named on the website.
2.2 Our company details. Our company details are as follows:
2.3 How to contact us. You can contact us directly at the contact details published on our website.
2.4 How we may contact you. If we have to contact you we will do so by telephone or by writing to you at the email address or postal address you provided to us when you register with us.
2.5 "Writing" includes emails. When we use the words "writing" or "written" in these terms, this includes emails.
3.1 You can register with us in our practice. If you register with us in our practice, our acceptance of your registration will take place when the practice confirms to you that we have accepted your registration, at which point a contract will come into existence between you and us. We will provide you with a copy of these terms when you register and may also send you a copy or a link to them by post or email.
3.2 You can register with us online if specified on our website. If you register with us online, our acceptance of your registration will take place when we send you an email confirming that we have accepted your registration, at which point a contract will come into existence between you and us. An email simply acknowledging or confirming that we have received your registration form shall not be treated as confirmation that we have accepted your registration.
4.1 We will provide our veterinary services in accordance with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (“RCVS”) Code of Professional Conduct. The RCVS regulates veterinary surgeons in accordance with the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, to protect the public interest and to safeguard animal health and welfare.
4.2 Veterinary services will be provided by suitably trained and/or qualified staff. This will depend on the nature of the veterinary service to be provided in each instance. Veterinary services may also be provided by or with the involvement of other staff as part of their training and development (such as student vets, nurse and animal care assistants) under the supervision of a suitably trained and/or qualified member of staff involved in the care of your pet. You have the right at any time for them not to provide or be involved in the care of your pet.
4.3 We will provide veterinary services to you during our normal business hours. We will also provide emergency veterinary services to you outside our normal business hours either ourselves or by referring you to another local practice or veterinary service with whom we have an appropriate arrangement. We may change our normal business hours from time to time - please see our website for our current opening hours.
4.4 We will provide veterinary services to you at our practice set out above. We may also provide veterinary services to you at other premises where we need to access additional or specialist facilities (such as MRI scanners) or to provide emergency veterinary services to you outside our normal business hours. You must comply with any health and safety instructions that apply at those premises, and you are responsible for any belongings that you bring to or leave at those premises. We may, at our discretion, agree to provide veterinary services at any other location that you request (such as your home or stables). You are responsible for making sure that they are safe and accessible by our staff.
4.5 You are responsible for making appointments to receive veterinary services. You can do so in person, or by contacting us at the email address, phone number or (where available) by using the online booking system on our website set out above. We do not guarantee that appointments will be available at your preferred time. We reserve the right to refuse to provide veterinary services if you attend our practice without an appointment or if you are not present at our practice in time for your appointment.
4.6 We will normally agree a treatment plan with you following an initial consultation and in advance of any further treatment. However, we reserve the right to provide such veterinary services as are reasonably necessary, in the professional judgement of our staff acting in the best interest of your pet, without first agreeing a treatment plan with you (such as in an emergency).
4.7 We can accept and rely on instructions and information from your representatives who bring your pet to our practice. This includes, for example, your family members, pet kennels and pet sitters. You can contact us at the address, email address or phone number above to let us know who is authorised or not authorised to represent you. We reserve the right at our discretion to refuse to accept instructions from them (such as if they are under 18 years old or we reasonably believe that they are not authorised to represent you) or to require proof that they are authorised to represent you.
4.8 We reserve the right at our discretion to decline to provide veterinary services. You are free at all times, at your own cost, to seek or request a second opinion on or concerning any veterinary services that we have provided.
4.9 We are not responsible for delays outside our control. If our supply of the veterinary services is delayed by an event outside our control then we will contact you as soon as possible to let you know and we will take steps to minimise the effect of the delay. Provided we do this we will not be liable for delays caused by the event, but if there is a risk of substantial delay you may contact us to end the contract and receive a refund for any services you have paid for but not received.
4.10 Your pet’s medical records (including) are our property. This includes test results, x-rays, MRI scans and ultrasounds. You may ask us to provide a copy of your pet’s medical records to another veterinary service provider (such as an out-of-hours service or if you are moving to another veterinary practice) by sending us a written request to the address or email address above. We will process your request within a reasonable period of time. We reserve the right at our discretion to charge a reasonable fee for doing so, and may require that you pay that fee and any other outstanding sums before doing so.
4.11 You are responsible for arranging pet insurance. We do not provide pet insurance or arrange pet insurance for our clients. Although you do not need pet insurance to receive our veterinary services, we recommend that our clients take out appropriate pet insurance for their pet with a reputable insurer.
5.1 Prescriptions may only be issued by our staff who are qualified and authorised to do so. Repeat prescriptions may only be issued if a member of staff who is qualified and authorised to do so has authorised that you may request repeat prescriptions. We may, at our discretion, refuse to issue prescriptions for pets that are not registered with us as being exclusively under our care.
5.2 Prescriptions may only be issued following a clinical assessment of your pet. We may, at our discretion, require an updated clinical assessment of your pet before issuing a repeat prescription – please make your request in sufficient time to be able to arrange an updated clinical assessment if required.
5.3 We may charge you to issue written prescriptions or repeat prescriptions. Those charges are necessary to cover, for example, the time, responsibility and professional insurance costs involved. We will advise you of the costs before issuing a written prescription.
5.4 You may choose to have prescriptions dispensed by our practice or by another veterinary practice, clinic or pharmacy. If you choose to have your prescription dispensed by our practice, we will advise you of availability and costs before dispensing any medicinal or pharmaceutical products. You are responsible for collecting it from our practice.
6.1 We take the health, wellbeing and safety of our staff, our clients and pets in our care very seriously. We therefore take a zero-tolerance approach against intrusive, offensive, violent or aggressive behaviour. Examples of behaviour that we deem unacceptable are:
(a) Making malicious allegations about our staff or other clients;
(b) Derogatory racial or sexual remarks;
(c) Offensive sexual gestures or behaviour;
(d) Using violent, threatening or abusive language (including swearing and offensive remarks);
(e) Violent, threatening or abusive behaviour towards our staff, our clients or pets in our care;
(f) Theft and other criminal activity; and
(g) Non-compliance with the practice’s health and safety requirements.
6.2 We have the right to refuse to provide services. We reserve the right at our discretion to decline to supply veterinary services, to ask you to leave our premises and/or to terminate our contract with you if you or any person accompanying or connected with you engage in any such behaviour, whether in our practice or when speaking to our staff via telephone, email or through our website. We understand that not all animals will respond to treatment as hoped and that that this can be very distressing, and will take this into account when dealing with such behaviour.
You can always end your contract with us at any time. When your contract with us ends, you will be responsible for collecting your pet from us (if it is in our care) and for paying any outstanding payments to us. We recommend that you register your pet with another veterinary practice from the date that your contract with us ends (and we are not responsible for arranging this for you).
Tell us you want to end the contract. To end the contract with us, please let us know by doing one of the following:
(a) In person. Visit our practice during normal business hours and let us know that you want to end the contract. We may ask you to sign a document to confirm that you want to end the contract.
(b) By email. Send us an email (from the email address that you have registered with us) at the email address above and let us know that you want to end the contract. Please provide your name, home address, details of your pet and, where available, your phone number and email address.
(c) By post. Send us a letter at the address above and let us know that you want to end the contract. Please provide your name, home address, details of your pet and, where available, your phone number and email address.
9.1 We may end the contract immediately at any time for any of the following reasons:
(a) if the information that you provided to us on registration is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading;
(b) if you break any of the terms of the contract;
(c) if you do not comply with clause 6;
(d) if you do not make any payment to us when it is due and you still do not make payment within 7 days of us reminding you that payment is due; or
(e) you do not, within a reasonable time of us asking for it, provide us with information that is necessary for us to provide the services.
9.2 We may end the contract at any time for any other reason. We will write to you to let you know at least 30 days before the contract ends. Will refund any sums you have paid in advance for services which will not be provided.
9.3 We may withdraw services. We may write to you to let you know that we are going to stop providing particular services. We will let you know as soon as reasonably possible and will refund any sums you have paid in advance for services which will not be provided.
10.1 How to tell us about problems. If you have any questions or complaints about the veterinary services that we have provided to you or any of our staff, please refer to our Complaints Policy (a link to which is included above) or contact us at our postal address, email address or telephone number above.
10.2 Summary of your legal rights. We are under a legal duty to supply services that are in conformity with this contract. See the box below for a summary of your key legal rights in relation to the product. Nothing in these terms will affect your legal rights.
Summary of your key legal rights
This is a summary of your key legal rights. These are subject to certain exceptions. For detailed information please visit the Citizens Advice website www.adviceguide.org.uk or call 03454 04 05 06.
If your product is services, for example veterinary services, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 says:
a) You can ask us to repeat or fix a service if it's not carried out with reasonable care and skill, or get some money back if we can't fix it.
b) If you haven't agreed a price beforehand, what you're asked to pay must be reasonable.
c) If you haven't agreed a time beforehand, it must be carried out within a reasonable time.
11.1 Wherever practicable, we will agree a price estimate with you before providing veterinary services. If we believe that the price estimate will be exceeded, wherever practicable we will discuss this with you and agree a revised price estimate with you before continuing to provide veterinary services. However, we reserve the right to provide such veterinary services as are reasonably necessary, in the professional judgement of our staff acting in the best interest of the animal under our care, without first agreeing the price estimate or revised price estimate with you (such as in an emergency).
11.2 The price payable for the veterinary services that we provide will be calculated in accordance with our standard price and rates at that time. That is the case even if that is higher or lower than any price estimate agreed with you. Price estimates are not intended to be a fixed or maximum price for veterinary services. Our prices and rates are inclusive of VAT unless specified otherwise, in which case it will be added as appropriate. We will provide you with an appropriate statement or invoice of the price payable by you.
11.3 When you must pay depends on what veterinary services that we provide:
(a) For the sale of products (such as prescriptions and travel documents) you must pay for them at the time that we provide them to you at our practice;
(b) For the provision of out-patient veterinary services (where your pet is not left with us), you must pay for them at the end of your appointment; and
(c) For the provision of in-patient veterinary services (where your pet is left with us), you must pay for them on discharge of your pet.
11.4 There are some exceptions to when you must pay:
(a) We may at our discretion require that you pay for the whole or part of the veterinary services in advance.
(b) Where you have a valid pet insurance policy, we may at our discretion agree to make a claim for payment directly to your insurance company. You agree to provide us with any information that we request about that policy. We may charge a fee for completing, submitting and/or managing a claim for payment on your behalf, and you agree to pay us on request at any time for that fee and for any amounts that the insurance company has not paid as at the date of our request for payment.
11.5 You may pay the price payable to us by cash, debit card or credit card at our practice. We are unable to accept payments by cheque.
11.6 We may take further action to recover overdue payments. If any amounts payable to us are not paid when due then, without prejudice to any other remedies available to us, we may at any time:
(a) refer any overdue accounts to our debt collection agency for recovery;
(b) add additional charges to your outstanding account in order to recover fees and costs in connection with the collection of the sum you owe, including but not limited to administration costs and debt collection agency fees; and
(c) refuse to supply further veterinary services to you until all outstanding sums are paid by you.
11.7 If you are unable to pay. If you are unable to pay for the veterinary services that we provided, we are only obliged to fulfil our minimum legal responsibilities and professional regulatory obligations in respect of the animal under our care.
11.8 If you have a valid Pet Health Club plan for your pet at the date that we provide the veterinary services:
(a) Where your Pet Health Club plan includes the cost of any veterinary services, you will not be required to pay the practice for those veterinary services (up to any limits set out in your plan); and
(b) Where your Pet Health Club plan includes discounts on the price of veterinary services, we will apply those discounts to the price that you are required to pay for those veterinary services (up to any limits set out in your plan).
12.1 We are responsible to you for foreseeable loss and damage caused by us. If we materially fail to comply with these terms, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breaking this contract or our failing to use reasonable care and skill, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if either it is obvious that it will happen or if, at the time the contract was made, both we and you knew it might happen, for example, if you discussed it with us during the sales process.
12.2 We do not exclude or limit in any way our liability to you where it would be unlawful to do so. This includes liability for death or personal injury to human beings caused by our negligence or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors; for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; for breach of your legal rights in relation to the services; and for defective products under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
12.3 We are not liable for business losses. We only supply the products and services for domestic and private use. If you use the services or any products that we supply in providing the services for any commercial, business or re-sale purpose we will have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.
12.4 We are not liable for your use of any products otherwise than in accordance with its instructions or as directed by your veterinary surgeon. Veterinary medicinal diet feed should only be used where recommended and by way of regular monitoring by a veterinarian. The veterinarian should be visited regularly during the feeding for check-up examinations and without delay in the event of deterioration in the animal’s condition.
12.5 Our liability to you is limited. Subject to the above exceptions, our liability to you for any damages, losses, claims, costs or expenses arising out of our supply of any products or services shall not exceed: (a) if the supply of those goods or services are covered by our public liability or professional indemnity insurance, the limit of that insurance for each claim or series of connected claims; and (b) if the supply of those goods or services are not covered by our public liability or professional indemnity insurance, the value of the total fees paid or payable by you for the products or services in question.
14.1 We may transfer this agreement to someone else. We may transfer our rights and obligations under these terms to another organisation. We will always tell you in writing if this happens and we will ensure that the transfer will not affect your rights under the contract.
14.2 You need our consent to transfer your rights to someone else. You may only transfer your rights or your obligations under these terms to another person if we agree to this in writing.
14.3 Nobody else has any rights under this contract. This contract is between you and us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms.
14.4 If a court finds part of this contract illegal, the rest will continue in force. Each of the paragraphs of these terms operates separately. If any court or relevant authority decides that any of them are unlawful, the remaining paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.
14.5 Even if we delay in enforcing this contract, we can still enforce it later. If we do not insist immediately that you do anything you are required to do under these terms, or if we delay in taking steps against you in respect of your breaking this contract, that will not mean that you do not have to do those things and it will not prevent us taking steps against you at a later date. For example, if you miss a payment and we do not chase you but we continue to provide the products, we can still require you to make the payment at a later date.
14.6 Which laws apply to this contract and where you may bring legal proceedings. These terms are governed by English law and you can bring legal proceedings in respect of the services in the English courts.
15.1 We may amend these terms from time to time. We recommend that you check them each time you use our website or engage our services to make sure that you are aware and understand the terms that apply at that time.
15.2 These terms were last updated on 15 March 2022.
Struthers & Scott
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