Thank you for entrusting your pet’s care to us at Castle Vets.
Castle Vets is governed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and we adhere to the Professional Code of Conduct at all times. We are also accredited under the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme which ensures that we are committed to providing the highest standard of care for all of our clients and their pets and communicating fully with you at all times. As part of our commitment, this document details our practice terms and conditions.
Fees and Payments
Our intention is to provide a competitively and fairly priced service for you and your pet.
A consultation fee will be charged every time you see the vet and all fees, drugs, food and counter sale charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. You will receive a detailed statement/receipt for every consultation, investigation, surgical procedure, treatment or other transaction with us. No drugs or food will be dispensed without payment. If you have any concerns about treatment costs or your ability to pay you bill, please talk to us as soon as possible
The fees for routine consultations, surgeries and treatments can be found on our Routine Price list
Should you wish to know the cost of other specific treatments/medications please ask the veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse during your consultation or you can contact the practice.
Estimate of Treatment Costs
We will be happy to give you a printed estimate regarding the expected costs of a course of treatment, investigations, or surgical procedure. Please be aware that any estimate given can only be an approximation of the final cost. We will always keep you informed and updated if costs are likely to exceed the original estimate.
We accept cash, BACS payments and most types of credit and debit card.
Payment in full is expected at the time of consultation, on the discharge of your pet following treatment or a procedure and on collection of drugs/diets. We do not routinely offer settlement terms and if an account has not been paid within 7 days, a reminder will be sent providing due notice of further action. After due notice to you, your outstanding balance will be referred to our debt collection agency.
Inability to Pay
We understand that affording veterinary care can be a worry for some owners and we work closely with the local and national animal charities, so may be able to help you get in touch with someone that could help with the vet fees. Please let us know if you think you will have trouble paying for your pet’s treatment before you see the vet.
If, for any reason you are unable to settle your bill with us as specified, we ask that you discuss this matter with a member of staff as soon as possible and before you see the vet. Please note that instalments and part payments may only be sanctioned with the express permission of the Practice Manager or the Directors.
Pet Insurance and Direct Claims
Castle Vets strongly supports insuring your pet against illness or accidents and we always endeavour to submit insurance claims promptly to ensure that you are reimbursed by your insurance company as quickly as possible.
Please be aware that
- It is your responsibility as the pet owner and/or policy holder to ensure that your pet insurance policy will cover the condition, illness or problem that you wish to claim for and NOT that of Castle Vets. If you are at all unsure about your level of insurance cover, Castle Vets will be happy to complete a pre-authorisation claim form on request, so that you can check your claim will be covered by your insurance company, prior to any further treatment, investigations or surgery being carried out.
- It is a requirement for us to share your pet’s full clinical history from Castle Vets with your insurance company (this is usually submitted with each claim). Your insurance company may also ask you to provide your pet’s clinical history from any other veterinary practice that he or she has been taken too; you will need to arrange this with your previous veterinary practice as Castle Vets cannot do this for you.
- Castle Vets can only claim for treatments, procedures, services and medications that they have provided at the practice. If your pet has been seen by another veterinary practice, referral vet or emergency vet (including Vets Now Emergencies), then they must complete a separate claim form for the services/treatments that they gave to your pet.
If your pet is insured, a direct claim (where the insurers pay Castle Vets) may be considered if treatment costs are likely to exceed £250, but this must be discussed with the veterinary surgeon before any surgical procedures or treatments take place and will be at the discretion of the practice and you will need to adhere to the terms and conditions of our insurance claims policy.
You are responsible for any costs that are not covered by your insurance company and it remains your responsibility to settle your account within 60 days, if we have not received payment from your insurance company.
If you are considering a direct insurance claim, we strongly advise that you read our Insurance Claim Policy which can be downloaded, printed or obtained from reception. If you would like to know more about pet insurance have a look at our Pet Insurance information page.
As a veterinary practice we have a legal obligation to use veterinary UK licenced medications wherever possible in accordance with the veterinary drug cascade system. The dosage of these medications is carefully calculated and given in accordance of manufacturer’s guidelines. In some cases, medications and treatments may have to be ordered in specially, for the sole treatment of your pet and in these instances we will require payment in full at the time of ordering.
Off-Licence Medicines: There may be certain situations where the best treatment for your pet may require the use of medicines which do not have the appropriate licence for the species concerned and in this case the vet may recommend using a medication ‘off-licence’ in accordance with the veterinary drug cascade system. Our off-licence medications use will be according to the knowledge of their use in in animals and an assessment of the benefits and risks involved. These medicines will only be used when they are indicated and deemed necessary for your pet’s treatment and no licensed alternative exists. You will be asked to sign a consent form to indicate your agreement to the use of an ‘off-licence’ medication.
Medicine Return Policy: No pharmacy, including ours, can give refunds for any medications once purchased; we can however, take medicines and/or their containers back for safe disposal if they have been dispensed by ourselves.
Repeat Prescriptions: If your pet requires long-term medication for an ongoing condition, you can re order their prescription by phoning the practice or by visiting the Repeat Prescription page on our website. The current law and the RCVS rules require us to examine pets requiring repeat prescriptions at regular intervals; these re-examinations are necessary to ensure that your pet can be monitored for any changes in their condition, new problems and/or any side effects that the medication or treatments may be causing. The general policy of this practice is to re-assess a pet requiring repeat prescriptions, or supplies of relevant veterinary medicinal products, every 3 months but this may vary with individual circumstances.
Written Prescriptions: You may purchase Prescription Only Medicines Category V (POM Vs) directly from us, as prescribed by the veterinary surgeon in charge of your pet’s care, or you may ask for a written prescription so that you can obtain these medicines from another veterinary practice or pharmacy. Please be aware that a written prescription may not be appropriate in all cases, for example during an emergency or if your pet is an inpatient with us and needs immediate treatment. Written prescription charges are £18.25 for the initial prescription, plus £8.22 for each additional medication on the prescription.
- We will only give/sign a prescription generated by our own computer system.
- Castle Vets will not accept any responsibility for medications that are not dispensed from our own pharmacy and would urge our clients to be very careful about where they buy their pet’s prescription from and to check that the supplier meets all relevant standards.
- Substitution of non-licenced medications or human licenced medications for veterinary licenced medications by a pharmacist or online veterinary pharmacy is illegal.
Before performing any test or procedure on your pet, we will ask you to sign a consent form. This form is a record of the agreement that you make with us to treat your pet, including what is involved, the estimated cost and any likely risks and/or consequences of the procedure. The authorising person may be someone acting on your behalf if you cannot be available, but they must be over 18 years old. If you require a copy of the consent form please ask a member of staff.
Referrals and Second Opinions
If you would like a second opinion on your pet’s condition you are welcome to either book an appointment to see another vet at Castle Vets or book in to another veterinary practice. This will not affect your pet’s care and treatment at Castle Vets in any way.
Client Data Protection and Confidentiality
The Data Protection Acts give you the right to be informed about any personal data relating to you. At your request we will provide copies of your pet’s clinical records.
Any personal information that we have on your pet’s clinical card will only be used by Castle Vets and will never be sold on to third parties. We routinely send out text message reminders for appointments, annual health checks, vaccinations, and parasite control, but if you would prefer not to receive these messages, please do let us know and we will amend our records. Occasionally photographs/videos may be taken of your pet while visiting the practice and we will always seek your permission and consent before publicising them in any way. Any photos or videos of your pet that you submit to Castle Vets or onto our social media sites will be deemed the property of Castle Vets and must have permission from the pet owner and photographer; we can take no responsibility for copyright.
Ownership of Clinical Records and Diagnostic Images
We work in accordance with Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons guidelines. Clinical records, including radiographic images, computed tomography scans, ultrasound Images, laboratory reports and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by Castle Vets Pet Healthcare Centre in the interests of animal welfare and for our own records. In the event of a referral, second opinion or you changing veterinary practices, copies with the relevant clinical history will be passed on by the request of the veterinary surgeon/practice taking over treatment of your pet. Should copies of radiographs, scans or clinical reports be required, a charge may be incurred.
How To Give Feedback Or Raise A Concern
At Castle Vets Pet healthcare Centre, we are proud of our commitment to delivering the highest standard of veterinary care and we believe many improvements to our service come from listening and responding to your feedback. if you would like to give us feedback you can do so here ….
We do hope that you will be completely satisfied with our service, but, should you have a concern, we would like you to tell us promptly so that we can work with you to address the issue. Most problems can be sorted out easily and we would suggest that you bring things to the attention of the person who is looking after your pet in the first instance, or contact the Practice manager, Gill Gadd, to outline your concerns
We look forward to seeing you and your pet(s) at the practice and if we can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.
No addition or variation of these conditions can be made unless agreed in writing and signed by one of the practice directors.