Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your pet. Our terms and conditions of service are below. More information is available with the ‘frequently asked questions’ section and elsewhere on our website. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information.

Opening hours
Our normal opening hours are 08:00 to 17:00hrs, Monday to Friday. Appointments are available for life threatening emergencies outside those hours on an as-needed basis.

Fees
An estimate of costs will be discussed with you at the time of initial consultation. We are happy to provide written estimates upon request. Please be aware however that this is an estimate and should your pet’s condition prove more complex than initially suspected, this may be exceeded. We will endeavour to keep you informed of any increases in cost beyond the estimate supplied. We are happy to provide information on current expenditure at any point throughout your pets stay with us upon request.

Costs involved in revisit examinations and any other aftercare, including any complications arising from the initial procedure(s) will be in addition to the initial estimate. The exception to this is when the initial procedure performed was done so under warranty.

All fees, including medication and food are subject to VAT at the current rates

Unless you have a prior arrangement with us to pursue a direct claim with your insurance company, our payment terms are 50% of the initial estimate payable upon admission to the hospital, with the balance payable upon discharge of your pet from the hospital. If your pet is not admitted to the hospital following the initial consultation, all fees owed are payable at the end of the consultation.

In the event that costs occurred exceed the estimate you will be informed of this and we reserve the right in that event to request additional payments prior to discharge of your pet.

All medications including food are to be paid for upon collection.

We accept payment via cash, BACS and most major credit and debit cards. We do not accept payment via cheque or American Express.

Inability to pay
Should you anticipate any difficulty with settlement of your account, please inform the client care team at your earliest opportunity. We do not routinely offer settlement terms. Payment by instalments or part payment of any account can only occur with the express permission of a Clinical Director. Should no payment be received within 14 days of the issue date of an invoice a maximum of two reminders will be sent providing due notice of further action. Should no payment be received within 30 days of the invoice issue date, the matter may be passed over to a third party for collection of the debt. You will be expected to pay on demand on an indemnity basis, without deduction of any legal or other reasonable costs, fees or expenses of whatever nature incurred by Swift Referrals in connection with or in contemplation of any non-payment of your account by you.

Pet Heath Insurance
Swift Referrals supports the principle of insuring your pet against illness and accidents. We will submit indirect insurance claims promptly to ensure that you are reimbursed as quickly as possible.
It is however your responsibility to ensure that your pet is covered for the treatment provided by Swift Referrals. Please be aware that not all companies provide the same level of cover and details of individual policies vary widely. Some policies require submission of a pre-authorisation document prior to the insurance company agreeing to honour the claim. We are happy to provide the necessary documentation for a pre-authorisation, but please be aware that it can take several days for the insurance company to process this. In the event that a pre-authorisation is necessary, please make us aware of this at the time of booking your appointment.
Any shortfall in the cost of treatment which is not covered by your insurance policy will be payable by you. 50% of the amount over your insurance limit will be required at the time of admit- with the other 50% payable on collection of your pet.

Direct claims
Certain insurance companies (but not all) will allow us to process direct claims. In order to do this we will need the following information:

  • Full clinical history for your pet (if you pet has been to different vets at various times, we will need to history from each vet, not just the most recent one)
  • Policy documents
  • Proof of id
  • Proof of address- current utility bill
  • Proof of policy payment- ie current bank statement
  • Your up to date insurance details
  • Permission from you to speak to the insurance company.

It can take insurance companies several days to process requests for direct claims. Insurers require that all requests for direct claims are processed prior to treatment commencing so we cannot make a request for a direct claim once treatment has commenced. Insurers are only open during normal working hours. It may therefore not be possible to process a request for a direct claim in an emergency.

If you would like us to make arrangements for a direct claim please inform us at the time your appointment is being made.

Please note that a £50 administration fee is levied for all direct claims to take into account the staff time involved in processing the paperwork.

Prior arrangement of a direct claim is not a guarantee that the insurance company will cover the costs of treatment and you remain liable for any costs which your insurance policy does not cover.

Ownership of clinical records
Clinical records, including any scans, radiographs and other images obtained within the course of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions remain the property of Swift Referrals. Copies of all clinical records and images can be passed onto other Veterinary Surgeons for reasons of supercession of when otherwise required for the purposes of ongoing care of your pet. Copies of all records relating to your pet are also available to you upon request. In some instances, where large amounts of data are involved, an administration charge may be levied for this.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
A copy of our GDPR policy is available upon request

Prescriptions and medications
Veterinary surgeons may only prescribe prescription-only medicines (POM-V) for animals under their care. For patients with ongoing disease we define ‘under their care’ as having been examined by the Veterinary Surgeon writing the prescription within the last three months. For most medications we can provide the medications themselves or a prescription to allow you to purchase the medications elsewhere. We are happy to provide written prescriptions for patients under our care as defined above. Please be aware that a fee will be charged for providing a written prescription. For patients receiving more than one drug, a prescription must be written for each individual drug and each prescription is subject to an identical fee.

We kindly ask that you provide us with at least 48 hours notice of any orders for medication, including specific diets.

Occasionally medication may be ordered in specifically for your pet. While this is not commonplace, should such an order be pleased you will be liable for the costs involved regardless of whether the medication is used or not.

Complaints and feedback
We pride ourselves on the standards of are we offer to both you and your pet, and we welcome all feedback. While we hope this feedback would be positive, should you feel that we have fallen short of the standards that you expect of us, please raise this issue with our practice manager in the first instance. Please see our complaints procedures for further details of how to raise a complain and what you should expect in response.

Standards of behaviour
You should expect to be treated in a courteous and professional manner by all staff at Swift Referrals. We do not tolerate any threatening or abusive behaviour towards out staff. Any client who displays such behaviour will be immediately asked to leave the premises and will thereafter receive written notice that they are no longer welcome at Swift Referrals and should make arrangements for alternative care for their pet.