Acorn House Veterinary Hospital Terms & Conditions
Thank you for entrusting the care of your pet to Acorn House Veterinary Hospital. 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.
24 Hour Emergency Service
Before 11pm our out of hours emergency service is staffed by our daytime vets and nurses and patients will be seen at the Acorn House premises. Between the hours of 11pm-8am emergency calls are transferred to the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals in Hatfield and patients are seen there. Fees charged out of hours vary with the time of day or night but are more than during normal opening hours. A fee schedule is displayed on our website. A member of staff is on site at Acorn House 24 hours a day to care for inpatients already admitted to the hospital.
Routine Consultations and Veterinary Hospital opening times
The surgery is open Monday – Friday from 8am – 8pm and Saturday from 8am – 4:30pm. Consultations are by appointment during this time so please telephone reception or use the online booking system to book in. In the case of an emergency, please try to telephone the surgery in advance of coming down so we can prepare. Home visits may be possible (usually early afternoon Monday to Fridays).
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 drugs/diets. You may settle your account using:
- Credit/Debit Card - Maestro, Solo, Mastercard, Visa or Delta (we are unable to accept American Express)
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 numbers you have given us if we believe the treatment costs are going to exceed the estimate. However, if you are not contactable, we will treat your pet as is necessary for the prevention of pain or suffering.
Settlement of terms
All consultations require payment on the day of the treatment. Should an account not be settled within two weeks, then a reminder will be sent with an additional accounting fee in respect administrative costs incurred. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts 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.
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. Please note that instalments or part-payments of any account may only be sanctioned with the express permission of a Partner or senior member of staff.
Ownership of records
Case records, including radiographs and similar documents are the property of, and will be retained by, Acorn House Veterinary Hospital. Copies with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case.
Ownership of radiographs 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.
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.
Pet Health Insurance
Acorn House strongly supports the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness and accidents. Under the regulations of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) we are authorised to promote and administer the claims of the insurance company PetPlan: the practice does not receive commission for this. Please ask for details of Petplan insurance from any member of staff but be aware though that with any insurance company it is your responsibility to determine your level of cover and to then reclaim any fees you have paid the practice. It is also your responsibility to pay any excess that may be set according to your policy and to have knowledge of any condition exclusions. In certain instances when clients do not have the funds to make payment in full, arrangements can be made for your insurer to make their payment directly to us but this only applies to particular insurance companies and even then only when sums involved are high enough. Please ask for details if you would like to be considered for this facility.
Monitoring Telephone Calls and Emails
Telephone calls and emails to and from the practice may be recorded or monitored. By using such communication methods you are consenting to the recording or monitoring of the same.
Complaints and standards
If you wish to make a complaint about the service you have received at Acorn House, please follow our complaints procedure by clicking on the link below
We never allow third party access to data without a client's permission.
Prescriptions & Repeat prescriptions
The current charge for a written prescription is displayed in our reception areas or you may ask a member of staff for this information.
You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines, Category V, (POM Vs) from your veterinary surgeon or ask for a prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy.
Your veterinary surgeon may prescribe POM Vs only 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, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your animal.
The policy of this practice is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions every three to six months, but this may vary with individual circumstances. The charge for this re-examination is our standard ongoing consultation. Flea and worm treatments can however be dispensed without examination as part of a health plan agreed at the annual health assessment.
Clients are requested to give 48 hours advance notice for repeat prescriptions.
In accordance with the Medicines Act we will always use a veterinary licensed product. Should this not be the case we will then use veterinary products licensed for use in other species and failing that a human medical product. Any use of off-licence medication will be based upon our knowledge of its use in animals and an assessment made of the risks and benefits involved. This is particularly common in species other than dogs and cats for which few licensed products are available. Please speak to a veterinary surgeon if you have any concerns about this issue.
Return of medicines
Due to government legislation, we are unfortunately unable to accept any unused medicines for a refund. We will accept used or unused medication for responsible disposal.
Acorn House Veterinary Hospital will contact you either by letter, email, phone or text in order to advise you of your pet's upcoming healthcare treatments, including annual vaccinations. Whilst we make every effort to send out reminders for your pet's healthcare, these are provided as a complimentary service and the responsibility to keep them up to date remains with you. In particular, strict timings must be observed for rabies vaccinations if pets are to travel outside of the UK. Acorn House Veterinary Surgery accepts no liability for any loss, damages or costs which may result from the failure of a client receiving any reminder.
Cancellation and Refunds
Any entitlement to a refund of Veterinary Fees will be as determined by the Terms of Business as provided to you in advance. Refunds are not possible on POM-V medications once they have left the premises as we are not able to guarantee storage conditions once out of our custody. Disputes regarding professional fees should be dealt with through our complaints procedure but are not normally subject to refund. Non-POM-v medications and items bought through the shop can be refunded provided they are unopened in their original packaging in resaleable condition. They must be returned within 28 days of sale for this to apply. This does not apply to goods or medicines that are faulty.
For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in this Clause shall require Acorn House to refund the Fees (or part thereof) unless such Fees (or part thereof) have previously been paid.