All of our charges/fees, include VAT at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a case and according to the drugs, materials, consumables and diets etc that are used when caring for our patients. You will be offered a detailed invoice for every consultation, investigation, surgical procedure or transaction.
Due to the varying nature of the investigations and procedures carried out at Wear Referrals, it is often difficult to provide set prices for clients and veterinary surgeons alike. As we aim to provide as much information as possible for any clients prior to an appointment, we will always provide an estimate at the time of registering to ensure all clients are informed to the best of our abilities with regards to cost and payment. A more precise estimate will be given to you during your consultation once the vet has carried out a physical examination.
Payment is due at the time of consultation, or upon collection of your pet if your pet is admitted into the hospital for treatment. If your pet is admitted, please be aware that we would ask for a deposit in accordance with the estimate discussed during the consultation with the vet. Further fees will be charged for repeat consultations and check-ups unless agreed within the initial treatment cost. Cash and major debit/credit cards are accepted. Cheques are not accepted.
Should an account not be settled within 7 days, a reminder will be sent. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, an additional administrative fee may be charged to you. After due notice to you, the client, overdue accounts will be subject to our debt collection procedure and further charges may be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt: such as court fees, correspondence, court attendance, phone calls, etc. Any card payment not honoured, and cash tendered found to be counterfeit will result in the original account being returned to the original sum and there may be further charges added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs. We reserve the right to withhold all but emergency treatment whilst a balance remains overdue.
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 our team. Please note that instalments or part payments of any account may ONLY be sanctioned with the express permission of a Senior Manager. Failure to make payment within 30 days of the invoice issue date may result in the matter being referred to a third party and additional costs and interest may be added to the outstanding balance.
Please notify your pet insurance company that you have been referred as this is required with most insurance policies. At the same time, check if there are any exclusions on your pet's policy, the policy excess and the maximum level of cover.
General practice policy at Wear Referrals involves you, the owner, paying for your pet's treatment yourself, and claiming this back to you through your insurance company. We can assist with completion of insurance claim forms, and there is no charge for us to send off an insurance claim where the owner has settled the cost of the treatment.
We understand that this may not always be a possibility for owners attending, and therefore we do offer the option of a Direct Claim at an owner's request and subject to terms and conditions. A Direct Claim involves Wear Referrals claiming the cost of treatment from your insurance company back to ourselves, and incurs a £40 administration fee each time a Direct Claim check is carried out by our insurance co-ordinator (for example, each new policy year, or when treatment is being carried out for a new condition.) This administration fee must be settled prior to treatment being carried out for your pet.
Not all insurance companies offer the option of a Direct Claim, therefore this must be discussed prior to your first appointment to give us ample time to speak with your insurance company and obtain the necessary information.
Please note, direct claims cannot be requested at the time of collection of your pet, once treatment has already been carried out. Additionally, it is only Wear Referrals who can authorise a Direct Claim for treatment to be carried out here, your primary care practice cannot authorise a Direct Claim on our behalf.
We require an insurance claim form signed by the policyholder to be handed in at each occasion that treatment is carried out for your pet. If the policyholder is unable to attend the appointment, please contact our Client Care Team to discuss ways in which this can be resolved to not cause delays to your pet's treatment.
Insurance Policy Excess
The insurance policy excess is the amount of the bill that your Insurance Company will not settle and which you must pay. The excess can be a fixed amount, a percentage of the bill, or a combination of both. It is the owner's responsibility to be aware of the policy excess to be settled. At the time of a Direct Claim being agreed, we ask for a payment of the excess specified on the policy, alongside the £40 administration fee, regardless of whether you believe this may already have been paid. Any overpayment on your behalf would be refunded upon completion of the claim, and payment settled to Wear Referrals from your insurance company. It is important to be aware that excesses which involve settling a percentage of the bill can result in a significant sum, and therefore the owner must be aware of the costs likely to be incurred when agreeing to treatment.
Please note: any shortfall in the cost of treatment which is not covered by your insurance company will be payable to Wear Referrals by you, the owner.
Limitation of Liability
This condition applies to any claim by you against us (including any successor practice), any past, present or future partners of this firm, and/or any past present or future employees of this firm. Such claim shall be limited in amount to £5,000.00 for each and every claim, including claimants’ costs. All claims, whether made by one or more of the parties referred to above or by a third party, arising from the same act or omissions, shall be regarded as one claim.
For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability shall apply to any claim for negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, and any liability whatsoever.
Written signed consent for procedures is required in all cases of admission to the hospital and we will endeavour to discuss alterations prior to action being taken. Consent is also required for the use of medications in species for which they were not licensed. This is required as the majority of veterinary drugs are not licensed for use in small mammals, reptiles, birds, fish, amphibians and invertebrates. We must then use drugs which have a proven activity and efficiency despite this lack of licence.
As appropriate, medication will be dispensed as prescribed by the veterinary surgeon in charge of your pet’s care and given to you when your pet is discharged from the hospital.
A prescription may not be appropriate, however, if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary. Please also note we cannot take responsibility for medications purchased elsewhere. A reasonable charge is made for formulating and supplying a written prescription.
Should your pet require repeat prescriptions for long term medication these should be arranged with your primary care veterinary practice.
Client Data and Confidentiality
At the request of a client we will provide copies of relevant clinical records, including any clinical records we have acquired from the referring practice. Please be advised that for training and monitoring purposes, telephone calls may be recorded. For further information on how your personal information collected or processed please refer to our Privacy Statement that can be found here: https://www.mars.com/privacy-policy-us
Ownership of clinical records and diagnostic images
We work in accordance with Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons guidelines i.e.
Clinical and client records, including radiographic images and similar documents, are the property of, and should be retained by WVC in the interests of animal welfare and for our own records. In the event of supersession, second opinion or referral, copies with a relevant clinical history will be passed on request to a veterinary surgeon taking over or seeing the case.
Should copies of radiographs or reports be required, a charge will be incurred.
Concerns and Standards
Wear Referrals is an RCVS accredited Small Animal Hospital and is regularly inspected and audited for this purpose. We aim to offer the highest standards of patient and client care at all times, and as such we hope that you never have to complain about the standards of service received from us. However, if you feel that there is something you wish to bring to our attention, please speak to a member of client care in the first instance. Our Client Care Manager will assist with any issues that remain unresolved and, where appropriate, they will escalate the matter to a senior manager.
As a veterinary business, our veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses must comply with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Code of Professional Conduct. If you have concerns relating to the professional conduct of a staff member and have not been able to resolve it with us directly, you can contact the RCVS on their website www.rcvs.org.uk for further details of how to register a complaint.