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Willows Veterinary Group Terms and Conditions of Business – Small Animal
Thank you for entrusting the care and attention of your pet to Willows Veterinary Group (WVG). 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.
Willows Veterinary Group Small Animal division consists of 25 branches (all eligible branches are RCVS Accredited) and an RCVS Accredited Referral practice as follows:-
Abbeycroft Veterinary Surgery, 38 Station Road, Northwich, Cheshire CW8 1LP
Alsager Vet Centre, The Point, Crewe Road, Alsager, ST7 2GP
Acorn Veterinary Centre, 15-17 Acacia Grove, West Kirby CH48 4DD
Beech House Veterinary Centre, Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 6QP
Birchwood Vets, Unit NU9, Birchwood Shopping Centre, Dewhurst Road, Warrington, Cheshire WA3 7PG
Charter Veterinary Surgeons – Smallthorne, 173 Ford Green Road, Smallthorne, Stoke on Trent, ST6 1PF
All fees, food, shop sales & drugs are subject to VAT. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case & according to the drugs, materials, consumables & diets 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 – MasterCard, Visa, Delta, Switch.
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.
The WVG 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, microchipping & vaccination
WVG strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accident. Please note all insurance fees less than £250 need to be settled at the time the veterinary work is performed. Claims over £250 can be claimed back directly to the WVG upon presentation of an owner completed insurance form, in these circumstances excesses should be paid at the beginning of the veterinary treatment. The WVG 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.
WVG strongly support having your pet microchipped (for dogs this is a legal requirement) & regularly vaccinated. Any member of staff can supply you with details about these important actions you can take to protect, care for, and identify your pet. WVG 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.
Out of hours service (OOH)
Weekend consults are available at some surgeries. Telephone calls to closed branches are automatically redirected to open surgeries on weekends or the closest night centre when all our 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 at either:-
Beech House Veterinary Centre, Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 6QP. Tel: 01925 445500
In the rare event you are not called back within 10 minutes please redial. For animals needing 24-hour intensive care nursing, this can be provided at the Willows Veterinary Hospital.
Alternative OOH pet care at Manchester Veterinary Centre, Parkway, Denton, Manchester M34 3SG. Tel: 0161 337 2323
When this surgery is closed for OOH care telephone calls are redirected to A & E Vets Based at Cheadle Hulme Veterinary Hospital, 2-4 Queens Road, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire SK8 5LU. Tel: 0161 486 2355
Acorn Veterinary Hospital. 15-17 Acacia Grove, West Kirby CH48 4DD. Tel: –0151 625 9916. Up until 11.30pm every night, Acorn share their OOH service with the nearby Broadway Veterinary Centre. Your call will be answered by one of their night staff who will connect you with one of our vets. After 11.30pm the emergency service is covered by MINight Vets.
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. There may be a charge incurred for copying any veterinary records and documentation.
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 WVG.
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 WVG 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 WVG. However, if you feel there is something you wish to complain about, please contact the respective Branch Manager during normal office hours. If the Branch Manager cannot answer your query please contact the practice manager Jane Platt BSc ACA, Partner and Group Practice Manager, Willows Veterinary Group, Head Office, Langdale House, Gadbrook Business Park, Rudheath, Cheshire, CW9 7TN.
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.
Without affecting any other right or remedy available to us, WVG 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, WVG may terminate the contract with immediate effect by giving written notice to you if:
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;
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
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, WVG 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, WVG may suspend the supply of services under the contract or any other contract between you and WVG 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 WVG reasonably believes that you are about to become subject to any of them.
On termination you shall immediately pay to WVG all of WVG’s outstanding unpaid invoices and interest and, in respect of services supplied but for which no invoice has been submitted, WVG shall submit an invoice, which shall be payable by you immediately on receipt.
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.
Assignment and other dealings
WVG may at any time assign, mortgage, charge, subcontract, delegate, declare a trust over or deal in any other matter with any or all of its rights and obligations under the contract.
You shall not assign, transfer, mortgage, charge, subcontract, declare a trust over or deal in any other manner with any of your rights and obligations under the contract without the prior written consent of WVG.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. WVG 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.