Northwest Referrals Terms and Conditions of Business
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Pet Healthcare Centres Ltd (Northwest Referrals). This information details our practice Terms and conditions. Some aspects of the Terms may not be relevant to you and we request that you ask for further clarification/explanation if required.
Inpatient and overnight care
We do not have staffing 24 hours a day. Our day staff finish at 7pm although we close at 6pm, we have a night vet that checks the patients between 10pm and 12am and then our staff start at 4am. From March 2022 our nurses will only finish at 12 midnight thus covering the majority of the night. We do have IP cameras in overnight kennels that allow our staff and the vets to check the patients at any time. There is an overnight vet on call at all times. If you need to contact us then please call the usual number and although the phones are usually through to Vets Now they do have our contact details and are able to contact us directly. We will not contact you through the night unless it is absolutely necessary.
The case vet will assess the patient at 9am and call the owner accordingly, to update the patient’s condition. Our phone lines are open at 8:30am if you wish an update earlier by a veterinary nurse.
If the patient needs intensive care, then they will be transferred to a dedicated out of hours facility like Vets Now in Manchester as we use them for our out of hours. Or if you are not happy with our overnight care, then we would be more than happy to transfer your pet to a dedicated out of hours practice of your choice.
Consultations and Veterinary surgery opening times
The Wigan Hospital is open Monday – Friday from 8am – 7pm and Saturday 8.30am-1.30pm and closed on Sunday. Consultations are by appointment only (9am-11.30am and 4.30pm-6.30pm) except in the case of an emergency when, if possible, a telephone call to the surgery detailing the emergency could be critical in dealing with it. If a home visit is required please telephone the surgery before as soon as you can.
Call 01942 242001 in an emergency.
All Fees, diets and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time and skill level required on a case and according to the medicines, materials, consumables and diets used. Our written fee list is available on request. You will receive a detailed fee note for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us. You are liable for any fees incurred in the diagnosis and treatment of your pet even if your pet is brought in on your behalf by a relative, friend or agent.
Methods of payment
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of your drugs/diets. You may settle your account using
- Credit/Debit Card – Maestro, Solo, Mastercard, Visa, Delta but unable to except American Express
- For our own record keeping and accounting purposes.
- To contact you with personal messages regarding your pet e.g. to change an appointment.
- Reminders for up-coming appointments (SMS, e-mail).
- Reminders specific to your pet’s health e.g. flea treatment and vaccination reminders (SMS, e-mail, post).
- News/information about your pet’s care and health (SMS, e-mail, post).
Estimates of treatment costs
We will happily provide 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 try to contact you on the contact numbers you have given us if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate costs however if you are not contactable we will treat your pet as is necessary for the prevention of pain or suffering.
Settlement of terms
Should an account not be settled at the time of treatment without prior consent from the directors, then a debt agreement will be signed with a payment date on. After the due date has passed you will be referred to our Debt Collection Agency and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt, such as production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits etc.
Any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in the original account being restored to the original sum with further changes added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum.
Inability to pay
If, for any reason, you are unable to settle your account as specified, we ask you to discuss the matter as soon as possible with a member of staff. You will be asked to sign a debt agreement and to pay the balance by the agreed date. Please note that instalments or part-payments of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of a Director.
Ownership of records
Case records, including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Pet Healthcare centres Ltd. Copies with the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
Ownership of X-ray, CT, MRI 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 investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph remains with the practice. We also may use these images and details for marketing materials, we will always anomalies these before they are published.
Second opinions and specialist referrals
Should you feel you would like another opinion on your pet’s illness please ask. We are always happy to arrange a second opinion with another vet or vets within the practice or referral to a specialist.
Complaints and standards
Pet Healthcare Centres is committed to providing an exceptional standard of service and care. We realise, however, that things can go wrong and there may be occasions when you feel your expectations are not met. We hope that if this is the case you will give the surgery a chance to put it right. Most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.
If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way, and you wish to make a formal complaint, we would like you to let us know in writing within 6 months. An acknowledgement letter will be sent once your formal complaint has been received. This will detail the name of the person handling your complaint about the standards of service received from Pet Healthcare Centre. However if you feel that there is something you wish to complain about, please direct your comments in the first instance to one of the directors via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via letter to James Weston or Richard Weston Pet Healthcare Centres Ltd, Northwest Referrals, 19 Caroline st, Wigan, WN3 4EL.
We will use your data:
When you register, you will be given the option to ‘opt-in’ for the following communications:
You can amend your communication preferences at any time by informing us.
We will pass on your pet’s medical history, which includes your contact details, if requested by another veterinary surgeon if you change veterinary practice or register elsewhere for a second opinion.
If we become aware that you no longer use our services we can ‘inactivate’ you on our system, so that you no longer receive communications from us. Please be aware that if you do not notify us that you have moved to another practice or your pet has passed away you will still receive reminders from us. We keep your pet’s records for a minimum of 7 years but can anonymise computerised client data/shred paper records after this point.
When you register your pet on an id chip site we give them your name, address and contact details as well as your pets details.
We will pass on your details to a referral veterinary centre or practitioner e.g. behaviourist, physiotherapist if you agree for your pet to be referred. Your surname and pets name is used to identify your pet when we send external laboratory samples. We also send your surname and pets name if you use our Pet Cremation services.
We will pass on your details to our debt collection agency (P&J) if required, in line with our terms and conditions.
Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, category V, (POM Vs) from your veterinary surgeon or ask permission and obtain these from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. Your veterinary surgeon may only prescribe POM Vs for animals 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, the price of any medicine prescribed for your animal. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess every 6 months any animal that requires repeat prescriptions, but this frequency may increase depending on the individual circumstances. The cost of preparing a written prescription is, as of May 2018, £14.40.
Responsible pet ownership and pet health insurance
Pet Healthcare Centres believes in responsible pet ownership. This includes regular appropriate vaccinations and worming for cats and dogs, regular flea control and a permanent means of identification for your pet. Please ask us for advice on the best methods to achieve this. Pet Healthcare Centres strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about insurance from any member of staff. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle your account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.
Vet Students and Nurses
Certain procedures such as dentals, drips, blood tests and other minor surgical procedures may be carried out by qualified vet nurses, trainee vet nurses and veterinary students under training. Be assured that in every case a veterinary is at hand supervising these procedures.
Control of pets
It is the owner responsibility to maintain their pets under control at all time whilst In the hospital building and on its car park. All dogs will be on a lead, if you do not have a lead one will be provided for you free of charge. Cats, birds, small mammals and reptiles must be in a suitable carrier. Children under the age of 18 must not be sent in charge of any pet.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the 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.