Terms and Conditions
Thank you for entrusting Torbridge Vets with the care of your pet. We aim to treat our patients as we would treat our own pets, and we will always offer what we feel is the best for the individual in the given circumstances. We will offer options where there are any, and will involve you in decision-making. Please ask as many questions about your pet’s treatment as you need to do in order to be comfortable with any decisions made, including costs.
Ownership of records, radiographs and other documents
Case records and similar documents are the property of, and shall be retained by, Torbridge Vets. A summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the care of your pet.
The diagnostics provided by the practice may involve radiography or ultrasound scanning. We make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting the results, however the ownership of the resulting record remains with the practice.
Out of hours arrangements
Out of hours emergencies are seen at either our Bideford or South Molton branches.
The veterinary hospital in Bideford is staffed night and day, and the night staff will have had to work the day before and probably the day after as well, so we ask you to please keep phone calls between 6pm and 8.30 am for emergencies only, unless otherwise instructed in individual cases. The emergency service can be contacted by phoning any of the branches.
Out of hours care is expensive and charges are significantly higher than daytime fees.
Our standard level of overnight care for inpatients involves a veterinary examination at 9am, regular nurse checks throughout the day and evening, plus a veterinary review in the evening. Patients on intravenous fluids, infusion pumps and more frequent monitoring incur a ‘fluid management charge’. If treatment and/or observation is required more frequently, nurses and vets will attend the pet during the night, and this will incur a ‘high dependency charge’. At the highest level of care, a member of staff may monitor the pet continuously and this will incur an ‘intensive care charge’.
Your pet’s needs are best served at the practice, where all our equipment, medications and nursing staff can be immediately accessed. Home visits are not available out of hours, for health and safety reasons. They may sometimes be available, depending on workload and staff availability, between 11 am and 1 pm on weekdays. Because they take at least one member of staff out of the building for a long time, visits are expensive.
Please make sure that you have a contingency plan available for occasions on which your pet may need veterinary treatment, especially if he or she is large and you may need help lifting him or her onto a blanket and into a vehicle. We have a list of taxi companies which will transport animals; please ask for details.
Fees and methods of payment
All charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and the degree of specialisation required, taking into account the drugs, materials and consumables used. We can provide a detailed fee note for every consultation, surgical procedure or other transaction with us.
We are very happy to provide an estimate on request. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate as each animal is an individual. We will attempt to keep you further updated about the costs of treatment as we go along, but please remind us if necessary, as it is easy for us to focus on your pet’s health to the exclusion of all else!
Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the time of your pet’s discharge from the hospital, or upon collection of drugs, diets etc. You may settle the account by cash or credit/debit card. We do not accept American Express or Diners Club.
Any account not settled within 14 days will receive a reminder and incur an additional fee for administrative costs incurred. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, further charges will be incurred. After due notice, overdue accounts will be referred to our Debt Collection Agency and this will incur further charges.
Any credit card payment not honoured or any cash tendered that is found not to be legal tender will result in the account being restored and further charges added.
If, for any reason, you will be unable to pay for all of your pet’s treatment, we ask you to discuss the matter as soon as possible with the practice administrator. Part-payments may only be sanctioned with the express permission of the management.
We strongly encourage our clients to insure their pets against illness and accidents, and any member of staff will be happy to discuss the principles with you. Please be aware that it is your responsibility to settle our account and then reclaim the fees from your insurance company.
Complaints and standards
We pride ourselves on our high standards and welcome all constructive feedback, positive or negative. Please raise minor grievances with any member of staff, but for anything more major we request you put your complaint in writing to the managing director.
Variations in terms of trading
No addition or variation of these conditions will bind the practice unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the practice director. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, the practice has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.