Terms of Business

Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to South Lincs Vet Group (SLVG). Detailed below are our Practice Terms and Conditions. Some aspects of the terms may not be relevant to you. Please ask for further explanation or clarification if required.
South Lincs Vet Consists of

• Sutterton Veterinary Hospital, Station Road, Sutterton, Boston, Lincs PE20 2LF
• Holbeach Vet Clinic, 20 West End, Holbeach, Spalding, Lincs PE12 7YY
• Pinchbeck Vet Clinic, 82 Church Street, Pinchbeck, Spalding, Lincs PE11 3YA
• Heckington Vet Clinic, Unit 10 Hazelwoods Yard, Boston Road, Heckington, Sleaford, lincs NG34 9JD

Costs

All fees, food, shop sales & drugs are subject to 20% VAT. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case & according to the drugs, materials, consumables used. A fee list can be made available with prior notice. You will receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure & transaction with us. Please note: Referral work incurs higher costs due to the extra expertise available from our highly qualified referral veterinary surgeons. Your first opinion vet will inform you if a referral is needed.

Methods of payment

Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet & upon collection of drugs, diets & shop sales. You may settle the account using cash or credit card/debit card.

Estimates of treatment costs

We will endeavour to provide an estimate for the probable costs of a course of treatment when informed consent is given for veterinary procedures at any of our surgeries. Any estimate given can only be approximate. Often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course and unforeseen expense may occur. We will endeavour to discuss additional costs at our earliest opportunity depending on your pet’s safety. Please note for long term hospitalised patients, account updates can be given daily upon request.

Terms of business

Any account not settled within 14 days will be referred to our credit control department. After due notice to you, any overdue account will be referred to our debt collecting agency or the small claims court. This will incur further costs in respect of collecting the debt, production of the reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits etc. Any cheque returned by our bank as unpaid, any credit card payment not honoured, and any cash tendered and found to be counterfeit will result in the original account being restored to the original sum with further charges added in respect of the bank charges and administrative costs.

Inability to pay

If you are unable to cover the costs of the estimate as specified please ask to discuss the matter with a member of staff, prior to treatment were the options available will be discussed and a formal contract entered into before treatment is given. Any unpaid accounts will be passed to a third party company for debt collection.

Veterinary care

SLVG will endeavour to provide veterinary services in accordance with reasonable standards denoted in the RCVS guidelines for practice standards and the professional conduct of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses. Guidelines are available at www.rcvs.org.uk. Please note veterinary care will be withheld from clients who appear aggressive and abusive to staff members. Please note that the standards of skill and care are subject to the instructions and information provided by you. If you request services outside the scope of your retainer or which are conflicting with our advice, then we give no warranty as to the services provided.

Pet health insurance & vaccination
We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accident. Please note all insurance fees less than £500 need to be settled at the time the veterinary work is performed. Claims over £500 can be claimed back directly to the South Lincs vet group upon presentation of an owner completed insurance form and authorisation by our practice manager, in these circumstances excesses should be paid at the beginning of the veterinary treatment. We will endeavour to complete and submit to the insurance company an insurance claim within 2 weeks of presentation. Please note if insurance companies fail to cover veterinary treatment, the debt incurred will be subject to full payment by the animal owner/agent.

SLVG will send health care reminders to those clients who vaccinate, flea and worm their animals using products supplied by us, this communication may be text, email, post or telephone call. Please advise us if you do not want us to contact you.

Out of hour’s service (OOH) and House Visits

Weekend consults are available at Sutterton Veterinary Hospital. Telephone calls to closed branches are automatically redirected to our open hospital on weekends and nights when our branch surgeries are closed. The telephone call will be answered by a trained member of staff who will contact the duty veterinary surgeon to respond to your emergency. We will endeavor to make house visits when possible (mileage restrctions of 15 miles apply), during out of hours visits may not always be possible due to emergency cover at the hospital.

Ownership of records, X-rays & similar documents

The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking blood samples, X-Rays or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations & interpreting their results, the resulting records, clinical or otherwise, remain the property of the practice. Case records can be copied &, on request, can be passed to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.

Limitations and liability

We will be liable to you for losses, damages, costs or expenses (Losses) caused by our negligence or wilful default, subject to the following provisions:

• We will not be so liable if such Losses are due to the provision of false, misleading or incomplete information or documentation or due to acts or omissions of any person other than a member of SLVG.

• The aggregate liability, whether to you or any third party, of whatever nature, whether in contract, tort or otherwise, of the firm for any Losses, whatsoever and howsoever caused arising from or in any way connected with each matter upon which we are instructed and/or advise on it, shall not exceed £250,000

Our liability, whether to you or any third party, in contract or tort or under statute or otherwise, shall exclude any indirect or consequential economic loss or damage (including loss of profits) suffered by you or any third party arising from or in connection with the services we provide, however, the indirect or consequential economic loss or damage is caused, including our negligence but not our wilful default.

Nothing in this section of the Terms and Conditions shall impose on South Lincs Vet Group any liability of any kind or for any amount which we would not have but for this section.

Nothing in this section of the Terms and Conditions shall have the effect of restricting our liability in respect of any kind of loss, damage or liability which cannot or must not be excluded or limited under English law.

Complaints & standards

We hope that you never feel the need to complain about the standards of service received from SLVG. However, if you feel there is something you wish to complain about, please contact the Practice Manager during normal office hours either by telephone 01205 345 345 or in writing to Emma Walker RVN, Sutterton Veterinary Hospital, Station Road, Sutterton, Boston, Lincs PE20 2LF

Variation

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 partners. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.

Termination

Without affecting any other right or remedy available to us, SLVG may terminate the contract by giving you (the other party) one month’s written notice.

Without affecting any other right or remedy available to us, SLVG may terminate the contract with immediate effect by giving written notice to you if:

1. You commit a material breach of any term of the contract and (if such a breach is remediable) fail to remedy that breach within 7 days of that party being notified in writing to do so;

2. You take any step or action in connection with entering bankruptcy, administration, provisional liquidation or any composition or arrangement with its creditors (other than in relation to a solvent restructuring) or being wound up (whether voluntarily or by order of the court);

• You suspend or threaten to suspend, or cease or threaten to cease to carry on all or a substantial party of your business; or

1. Your financial position deteriorates to such an extent that in WVG’s opinion your capability to adequately fulfil your obligations under the contract has been placed in jeopardy.

Without affecting any other right or remedy available to it, SLVG may terminate the contract with immediate effect by giving written notice to you if you fail to pay any amount due under the contract on the due date for payment.

Without affecting any other right or remedy available to us, SLVG may suspend the supply of services under the contract or any other contract between you and SLVG if you fail to pay any amount due under the contract on the due date for payment, you become subject to any of the events listed (i) to (iv) or SLVG reasonably believes that you are about to become subject to any of them.

On termination you shall immediately pay to SLVG all of SLVG’s outstanding unpaid invoices and interest and, in respect of services supplied but for which no invoice has been submitted, SLVG shall submit an invoice, which shall be payable by you immediately on receipt.

Force majeure

Neither party shall be in breach of the contract nor liable for delay in performing, or failure to perform, any of its obligations under the contract if such delay or failure results from events, circumstances or causes beyond its reasonable control.

Confidentiality

Each party undertakes that it shall not at any time disclose to any person any confidential information concerning the business, affairs, customers, clients or suppliers or the other party, except as permitted by the following clause.

Each party may disclose the other party’s confidential information:
To its employees, officers, representatives, subcontractors or advisors who need to know such information for the purposes of carrying out the party’s obligations under the contract. Each party shall ensure that its employees, officers, representatives, subcontractors or advisers to whom it discloses the other party’s confidential information comply with this clause; and
• As may be required by law, a court of competent jurisdiction or any governmental or regulatory authority.

Neither party shall use the other party’s confidential information for any purpose other than to perform its obligations under the contract.

Entire agreement

These terms and Conditions (the contract) constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes and extinguishes all previous agreements, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter.
Each party acknowledges that in entering into the contract it does not rely on, and shall have no remedies in respect of any statement, representation, assurance or warranty (whether made innocently or negligently) that is not set out in the contract. Each party agrees that it shall have no claim for innocent or negligent misrepresentation or negligent misstatement based on any statement in the contract. Nothing in this clause shall limit or exclude any liability for fraud.

Severance

If any provision or part-provision of the contract is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, it shall be deemed modified to the minimum extent necessary to make it valid, legal and enforceable. If such modification is not possible, the relevant provision or part-provision shall be deemed deleted. Any modification to or deletion of a provision or part-provision under this clause shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the rest of the contract.
Governing law
The contract and any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with it or its subject matter or formation shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.

Jurisdiction

Each party irrevocably agrees that the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with the contract or its subject matter or formation.

Dispensing of drugs

Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, Category V, (POM Vs) from this practice OR ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy. SLVG can prescribe POM Vs only for animals under our care. However, we can provide POM V drugs if presented with a prescription from another veterinary surgeon. 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 at least every 6 months, however, in more complicated/unstable cases re-examinations will be more frequent depending on the professional judgement of the veterinary surgeon managing that case. Prices available on request from your local clinic. We are not allowed to refund for any drugs not used.

Client information

For up to date client information and news please see our website www.southlincsvets.co.uk