Terms and conditions

Services offered

Focus Referrals is offering you, the client, to the best of our professional ability, a veterinary ophthalmology referral service within a first opinion veterinary practice setting. Services include routine appointments (initial referrals and follow-up appointments), BVA/KC/ISDS eye tests, emergency appointments, ocular surgical procedures and out-of hours support.

Fees

All fees, diets and drug charges are exclusive of VAT, which will be charged in addition at the current rate. Fee levels are determined by the time spent on a patient’s case and according to the drugs, materials and consumables used. You will receive a detailed statement for every consultation, investigation, surgical procedure or other transaction with us. No drugs will be dispensed without payment.

Estimate of treatment costs

An estimate can be provided regarding expected costs of investigations, a surgical procedure or course of treatment. However, given the nature of clinical work this estimate may only be approximate and the final bill may be above or below the estimate. If costs are likely to exceed the initial estimate we will update the clients accordingly, although in an emergency situation this may not always be possible.

Payment

Payment, in full to the host practice will be expected at the time of consultation, on the discharge of your pet or on collection of drugs. Cash, cheques, debit and credit cards are all acceptable.

Terms of business

If any account is not settled within 30 days, a reminder will be sent with an additional accounting fee, in respect of administration costs incurred. Should it be necessary for further reminders to be sent, further charges will be incurred. These however may be deducted if payment is made promptly. After due notice to you the client, overdue accounts will be referred to the host practice’s debt collection agency and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting debt: production of reports, correspondence, court fees, attendance at court, phone calls, home visits, etc. Any cheque returned by our bank as unpaid, any credit card payment not honored and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit, will result in the original account being restored to the original sum with further charges added in respect of bank charges and administration costs, together with interest on the principal sum.

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 installments or part payments of any account may only be sanctioned by the express permission of Focus Referrals.

Termination of services

Focus Referrals reserve the right at any time to terminate our agreement with you as a client at our own discretion.

Pet health insurance and direct claims

Focus referrals strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against illness or accidents and we generally expect you to settle the account at the time of treatment. We will do everything in our power to expedite the claim, to ensure you are reimbursed as quickly as possible.

On occasions (e.g. a large elective operation such as cataract surgery), a direct claim can be arranged, whereby the insurance company pays the host practice directly. This has to be pre-authorised by the insurance company, which can take up to 72 hours, depending on the insurance company. This process will incur a small administration fee (please see: price-list) for each insurance claim form submitted, for which the insurance company will not reimburse you.

Please note that any agreement of Focus Referrals to make a direct claim on your behalf does not constitute a contract between your insurance company and Focus Referrals and we ask that you settle any outstanding balances that have not been paid by your insurance company after 42 days with us.

In emergency situations, where a pre-authorisation is not possible a direct claim can only be agreed by approval of Focus Referrals.

Please note that any shortfall in the cost of treatment not covered by your insurance company (e.g. excess) will be payable by you to the host practice at the time of making the first direct claim. In addition, if for whatever reasons the insurance company fails to settle your claim (e.g. if the condition being claimed for was pre-existing) you will be liable to pay the final bill to the host practice in full.

Written prescriptions

Prescriptions are available from Focus Referrals.

You may obtain Prescription Only Medicines Category V, (POM Vs) directly from us as prescribed by the veterinary surgeon in charge of your pet’s care, or you may ask for a written prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or pharmacy. A prescription may not be appropriate, however, if your animal is an in-patient or if 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 (please see: price-list).

Repeat prescriptions

Focus Referrals will provide repeat prescriptions for animals under our care according to the patient’s individual treatment plan. Patient’s requiring a repeat prescription require re-assessment at least on a six-monthly basis but this may vary with individual circumstances. A standard re-examination fee will be charged for the re-assessment.

Please give us 48 hours’ notice for repeat orders of medication. Certain medications may have to be ordered in for the sole treatment of your pet and in these instances we will require payment in full, even if they are not collected or used. We will always inform you, on request, of the price of any medicine that may be prescribed for your pet.

Client data and confidentiality

The Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1999 give anyone the right to be informed about any personal data relating to themselves on payment of an administration charge. 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. 

In normal circumstances Focus Referrals will not disclose to any third party any information about a client or their animal either given by the client, or revealed by clinical examination. Permission to pass on confidential information may be express or implied. Express permission may be either verbal or in writing, usually in response to a request. Permission may also be implied from circumstances, for example in the making of a claim under a pet insurance policy, when the insurance company becomes entitled to receive all information relevant to the claim and to seek clarification if required.

The information clients provide to make appointments on the website of Focus Referrals via Simply.Book.me is kept confidential. SimplyBook.me is committed to ensuring client’s privacy and data is protected. Please see https://simplybook.me/policy for more details.

Ownership of clinical records and diagnostic images

In accordance with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ guidelines and in the interest of animal welfare and our own protection case records shall be retained by the host veterinary practice. Eye examination records, referral reports and diagnostic imaging documents are the property of, and shall be retained by, Focus Referrals. In the event of supersession or further referral, copies together with a relevant clinical history will be passed upon request to the veterinary surgeon participating in the care of the patient or taking over the case. A charge may be made for providing copies of diagnostic imaging documents. Photographs obtained during consultation and treatment may be used for scientific publications and teaching of veterinary ophthalmology.

Out of hours services

Focus Referrals’ routine office hours are Monday to Tuesday 9.30-18.00 and Thursday to Friday 9.30-18.00. Outside these hours and in an emergency situation, please contact your own veterinary surgeon. Your own veterinary surgeon can then liaise directly with Focus Referrals. Please note that if an out of hours, emergency appointment is required including treatment, additional charges will apply (please see: price-list).

Complaints

Focus Referrals aim to offer the highest standards of patient and client care at all times and therefore hope that you never have a reason 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 send correspondence to: info@focusreferrals.co.uk

As a veterinary business, our veterinary surgeon and host practice 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 Focus Referrals directly, you can contact the RCVS on their website www.rcvs.org.uk for further details of how to register a complaint.

No addition or variation of these conditions will bind Focus Referrals unless it is specifically agreed in writing and signed by Focus Referrals. No agent or person employed by, or under contract with, Focus Referrals has the authority to alter or vary these conditions in any way.