Terms and conditions
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Hillside Veterinary Centre. These are our Terms and Conditions of service – if you require further explanation or clarification please do not hesitate to contact us.
All consultations are by appointment only. In the case of an emergency please always telephone the surgery first to warn us that you are on your way. Emergencies during normal opening hours will always be seen immediately on arrival.
All veterinary fees, dietary purchases and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on or allocated to a case and according to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets used. Our written fee list is available on request. Hillside Vets will always give you an itemised fee note following every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction. Please note that you should expect to be charged a fee for all veterinary consultations.
Methods of payment
All accounts are due for settlement at the time of consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs/diets. You may settle this account using cash, cheque with current banker’s card or credit/debit card (Switch, Solo, Mastercard, Visa or Delta). Please note that cheque or card transactions are subject to a minimum transaction value of £5.00 due to bank charges.
We will always provide a written estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment when required. However, an estimate can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course. If costs are likely to exceed your estimate by more than 10% Hillside will make every effort to contact you where appropriate before proceeding.
Should an account not be settled within 14 days, a reminder will be sent and an accounting fee in respect of administration costs incurred will be charged. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, additional administration charges will be incurred. In addition, accounts more than 30 days overdue will also be subject to an interest charge of 5% per month on the outstanding balance. After due notice, overdue accounts will be referred to Hillside Vets’ Debt Collection Agency and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt. If a cheque is returned by Hillside’s Bank as ‘unpaid’, any credit card payment not honoured and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in the original account being restored to the original sum with further charges added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs, together with interest on the principle sum.
Unable to pay
If, for any reason, you are unable to settle your account at the time, we would ask you to discuss this matter confidentially as soon as possible with a member of our team. Please note that instalments or part payments of an account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of one of the partners of Hillside Vets. In this instance accounts will be subject to a 5% interest charge for any balance outstanding over 28 days and monthly thereafter. You will be asked to complete a credit application form for accounts not paid in full at the time of treatment.
Pet Health Insurance
At Hillside Vets we strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Please ask for details about pet insurance from any member of our team. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle Hillside’s account and then reclaim your fees from your insurance company. In some cases, particularly if your bill is high, insurance companies are happy to settle your account direct with us. There will, however, be an administration fee charged for every claim submitted on your behalf. You will still be responsible for direct payment of the insurance excess and any items not covered by your insurance.
Our current prescription policy is displayed in our waiting area. 48 hours’ notice for all prescriptions is required. Written prescriptions are available on request for up to three months medication at a time. Hillside will dispense prescription only medication for up to three months for pets on continual medication, after which period your pet will need to see one of our vets.
We are happy to see cases as a second opinion if you are dissatisfied with the veterinary treatment your pet has received elsewhere. A detailed medical history of your pet will be required in these instances and Hillside would need to contact your previous Veterinary Surgery. Second opinions often take longer than a standard appointment; therefore a special consultation fee will be charged for the first appointment to account for this.
If your pet requires specialised treatment, which we are unable to offer at Hillside Veterinary Centre, you may be offered a referral to a Specialist Veterinary Surgeon. You are also welcome to request referral of your pet to a specialist if you feel it necessary. When cases are referred to a specialist, you will be charged a one-off referral fee to cover costs of administration and communication involved in referring a case.
Out of ours emergency service
Any emergencies arising outside of normal surgery hours* will be seen by our dedicated emergency service with Vets Now Ltd. Their contact number is 01202 859933 and they are located at the PDSA Pet Aid Hospital, Castle Lane West, Bournemouth BH9 3JU. Please always contact them by telephone in the first instance.
* This currently means any time after 6.30pm weekdays (8.00pm Wednesdays), after 5.00pm Saturdays, all day Sunday and Bank Holidays.
Complaints and standards
Hillside strives to provide the best service and maintain the highest standards. However, if you do feel the need for complaint, please either ask to speak to one of the partners or put your complaint in writing. These will be dealt with as a matter of urgency.
Ownership of records
Case records including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Hillside Veterinary Centre. Where/if applicable, copies with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over your pet’s case.
Ownership of radiographs and similar
The care given to your pet may involve making more specific investigations; eg taking radiographs or performing ultrasound scans. A charge is made for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, but ownership of the resulting record will always remain with Hillside Veterinary Centre.
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind Hillside Veterinary Centre, unless they are specifically agreed in writing and signed by one of the partners of the practice.