Terms and Conditions of Business

Please be aware that you will be charged a consultation fee each time your pet visits the vet.  For ongoing problems, you may be charged a reduced price for a revisit consultation.

All bills are to be settled at the time of treatment.

Fees

All our fees and drug charges are subject to VAT at the current rate. Written estimates are available on request and you will receive a detailed invoice for every consultation, surgical procedure or transaction with us.

Methods of payment

Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultations, the discharge of your pet or the collection of medications or food. We accept CASH or DEBIT or CREDIT CARD – Electron, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Debit. We DO NOT accept American Express.

Settlement Terms

Settlement of your account is expected by us at the time of treatment and the practice does NOT extend credit. In exceptional circumstances payment plans may be initiated for emergency treatment at the discretion of the senior management team is subject to a 10% administration fee in addition to the amount owed.

Should an account not be settled at the time of treatment, a reminder will be sent. Failure to pay an outstanding balance within 2 months of treatment will result in 10% surcharge being added to the balance. If the bill is still not settled the account will be referred to our debt collection agency and may result in court action.

Insurance Claims

We usually ask that you pay at the time of treatment and then claim the costs back from the insurance company yourself. You will need to check with your insurance company about your level of cover, any exclusions you may have and what excess you will need to pay.

We will do our best to help with this process. Claim forms can be left with us for completion and sending off to the insurance company. Most forms are completed and submitted within 7 days of receiving them.

DIRECT CLAIMS We can only make direct claims for those patients insured with Pet Plan Insurance. We do not routinely make direct claims from other insurance companies however; they can be arranged with some insurance companies under certain circumstances, provided that you discuss this with us prior to any investigations or treatment being undertaken. You will need to contact your insurance provider and authorise them to discuss your policy with Westway Veterinary Group staff. An administration charge may be payable for arranging direct claims.

Complex Cases

As well as all routine surgeries such as neutering and dentals, mass removals etc., our vets also undertake more involved, non-routine surgical and medical cases.

A number of our vets and nurses have advanced qualifications in medicine, surgery, exotics, physiotherapy and feline behaviour and are happy to discuss cases with you. Please contact the West Road 0191 274 7910 for further details.

However, some cases require advanced imaging, for example CT or MRI scans, or complex surgery, for example spinal surgery.  These cases can be referred to the relevant specialists as required. Any patients who need referral will be discussed thoroughly with you thoroughly prior to referral.

Complaints Procedure

We hope that you never feel the need to make a formal complaint, but if you do, in the first instance please contact the surgery to discuss the matter. At this stage, we will endeavour to resolve any issues immediately. However, if you are still not satisfied, the complaint will be passed on to a senior member of staff who will get back to you and the issue will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Ownership of Records, Radiographs, Scans and other such Records

Case records are the property of, and will be retained by, Westway Veterinary Group. Copies with a summary of the history will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon and only at your request.

As per Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Guidelines, we reserve the right to charge you an administration for providing such copies.

Some of the treatments or investigations which your pet may receive at Westway Veterinary Group could involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, the ownership of the resulting records remain with Westway Veterinary Group.

Data protection

We are required to keep your personal information for accounting and record purposes. We will not divulge your details to other agencies except for debt collection purposes. We may contact you from time to time with information beneficial to your animal’s health, for example appointment reminders, drug recall information, or newsletters. If you do not want us to send you any such information, please advise Westway Veterinary Group in writing and we will amend your records accordingly.

Prescriptions

If your pet requires ongoing medication it is practice policy, as stated by the RCVS, that your pet must be seen every 3 months for assessment and review of medications required. These consultations are a chance for you to discuss your pets medication with a vet and raise any concerns you may have.  Repeat consultations are charged at a reduced price.

If you require repeat medications please allow at least 48 hours’ notice for collection, as all prescription only medicines must be authorised by a Veterinary Surgeon. Please allow additional time for weekends and bank holidays. Some items may need to be ordered in specially and require a longer period of notice.

Written prescriptions are available and subject to a written prescription fee. Prescriptions can only be issued after a clinical assessment has been undertaken. Please discuss this with your vet during your consultation or contact a member of our staff.