The NHS has it's good points, but I think it's at fault for the misconception that "Vets are expensive". There may be some expensive vets, and the growth in the corporate chains, might be taken as evidence that there's money to be made from Veterinary Practice, but there are still a lot of practices who's bottom line isn't purely profit. Fortunately, I'm not just doing it for the money, and whilst the hours on duty aren't really compensated financially, it's uplifting to see the fruits of our labours. Measured in terms of Thank you cards versus complaint letters, our practice is very successful.
It's a clever trick to advertise a list of prices for routine procedures that may be disproportionately lower than your other prices. Supermarkets will have their loss leaders that draw customers into the shop. They're hoping that the customer will also buy some of their profitable lines whilst they're there. Whilst I haven't got any headline grabbing special offers, I know that my prices on a "basket of goods" are very reasonable. The SPVS conducts an annual nationwide survey on veterinary fees, and I find that I'm always below last years regional average.
Prescription only medication
We can only prescribe medication to animals "under our care". This is a legal requirement, it it also common sense. We want to make sure that the medicine is being used effectively, that it is still the right choice for the condition, and that there are no evident side effects. For an animal that appears to be stable on a suitable medication, we say that a 3 monthly interval between checks is sufficient. It will never be longer than this. Please don't argue with the staff when they explain this to you. Persistent offenders will be asked to find another practice.
I'm perfectly happy (excuse the sigh, and rather hurt expression) to provide prescriptions for customers who would like to buy their expensive medication, from somewhere less expensive. Our prices for medications are perfectly reasonable- we don't benefit from the large discounts that internet pharmacies get from manufacturers. We're a corner shop, not a supermarket. We like to keep a full range of medication in stock, but if it goes out of date, not only do we lose out, but we then have to pay for it's disposal.
We make a charge of £11.67 +VAT for writing a single item prescription. Prescriptions for multiple items are charged at £10 +VAT per item.
We're open with our fees, and will discuss likely costs in advance, and where available cheaper alternatives, but we do insist on payment at the time of treatment. Unfortunately we've had too many broken promises.
We take cash, cheque and most common payment cards.
Pet Health Plans
We've had quite a few enquiries about these, and some practices are quite keen on pushing them, but surely it can't be a good deal both ways.
It's probably works on the same principle as gym membership ie. You set up your regular payment with good intentions, then when you don't use the facility/forget your flea treatment, the "provider" is quids in.
We recommend annual vaccination, 3 monthly worming, and POM Flea treatment. It's a very good idea to bring your dog to the vets if you think it's poorly, and whilst we're uncompromising with check ups for medication, I don't see too much point in wasting our mutual time bringing your healthy pet for a 6 monthly check. (That racket's for dentists!)
By all means budget for your pets treatment, but probably better to do it with a bank, than a pet health plan provider. (It seems that I'm condoning banks- well personal banking is currently pretty good value for free- wait till you run your own business!)
At present we don't charge for filling in insurance forms (and they say vets are more intelligent than Doctors!), despite the extra work it creates. We like the client to pay for treatment direct though and then reclaim the money from the insurance company.
We broadly support the idea of insurance, as it takes cost out of an already complicated equation, when deciding on how to approach a case. It's a must if you're ever considering referral to a specialist.
We can't recommend a specific company, but like any type of insurance be aware of excesses and exclusions. The main consideration is whether to pay extra for a lifelong policy, or to choose a cheaper one that will only pay for 12 months treatment.
****Top tip It's probably sensible to start with a lifelong policy, and that way if it turns out that you've chosen a problem pet, at least you're covered. A lot of lifelong problems ie skin allergy, epilepsy, lameness, will become apparent in the first couple of years. If your pet hasn't had many problems you might then want to downgrade to a cheaper 12 month policy.****
If your insurance is with E&L and they want us to waste our time sending lots of additional information in triplicate, because they've had a fire at their office (again), then we reserve the right to charge for this.
Even smaller print- don't bother reading this- I haven't!
(But they can't get me, because no one knows who am I anyway- and If you want to know, you'll have to put in a written request to the Data Protection Officer, but zhe can't tell you anyway, because I haven't given my permission to share that data...)
Just more box-ticking European inspired bureaucracy...
Last updated 24th May 2018
If you have any questions or concerns about our use of your personal information, then please contact us using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. What is the At Home Veterinary Service Ltd?
At Home Veterinary Service Ltd is an independent practice based in Amington, Tamworth. We may also come under the name St Mary's Vets.
3. When do we collect personal information?
We collect your personal information in a number of instances, including when you:
* Register your details as a new client
* Engage with us on social media;
* Contact us by any means with questions about a service, product or treatment or to raise a complaint
* Comment on or review our products and services. Any individual may access personal information related to them, including opinions. So if your comment or review includes information about the colleague who provided that service, it may be passed on to them if requested;
* Fill in any forms. For example, if an accident happens at At Home Veterinary Services Ltd Surgery Care surgery, a colleague may collect your personal information;
* Have given a third party permission to share the personal information they hold about you with us
4. What personal information do we collect and why?
The personal information that we collect about you broadly falls into the following categories:
Information that you provide voluntarily
When you register as a client,or book an appointment, you will be asked for some essential information including your title, first name, surname, postal address, email address, telephone, and details of your pet. These are collected to help us:
* Provide veterinary care to your pet;
* Register your details as a new client
* Contact you about your pet, account or credit status where required;
* Prevent and detect fraud – to do this, we may need to disclose information to assist legal or debt recovery processes;
* Send you reminders about appointments, vaccination dates and flea and worm treatment dates
* Respond to any issues or queries
* Notify you about changes to our service.
Information that we obtain from third party sources
From time to time, we may receive personal information about you from third party sources, but only where we have checked that these third parties either have your consent or are otherwise legally permitted or required to disclose your personal information to us. For example we may receive personal information from other veterinary professionals if you transfer from another veterinary surgery and register as a client of At Home veterinary services Ltd.
If you have any questions about the third parties we obtain personal information from, please contact us.
We will use the personal information we hold about you (as well as pseudonymised or anonymised information generated from your personal information) to carry out analysis and research. We carry out all such analysis and research on the basis that it is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests in understanding our clients and ensuring that our services and products meet the needs of our customers. We undertake data analytics, whereby we combine information we hold on a large scale in order to:
* Learn more about our clients and their preferences;
* To identify patterns and trends amongst our clients;
* For general research and statistical purposes;
* To monitor performance of our services;
(Don't worry- we don't do this ^, because we don't even know what it means, We just copied someone else's policy)
We will use your personal information (including anonymising and aggregating it with other customers' personal information) for sales, supply chain and financial analysis purposes, to determine how we are performing and where improvements can be made.
(Or this ^)
5. Who do we share your personal information with?
We may disclose your personal information to the following categories of recipients:
to specialist referral centres or specialist veterinary hospitals, when we refer your pet for specialist diagnosis or treatment;
* to other veterinary professionals, if you request that we transfer your pet’s patient history on transferring to another veterinary surgery;
* to insurance companies with whom you have insured your pet;
* to laboratories and other suppliers who you have agreed we may provide your details to and who require them in order to provide services in relation to your pet;
* IT companies who support our business system
* to any competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court
or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary (i) as a matter of applicable law or regulation, (ii) to exercise, establish or defend our legal rights or apply our Terms and Conditions, or (iii) to protect your vital interests or those of any other person;
* to any other person with your consent to the disclosure.
Where we share your personal information with third party service providers and partners we apply a policy to ensure your personal information is safe and in order to protect your privacy. Our policy requires:
* We provide only the information they need to perform their specific services.
* They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them.
* We work closely with them to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected at all times.
* If we stop using their services, any of your personal information held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous (subject to applicable law).
6. Legal basis for processing personal information
Our legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described above will depend on the personal information concerned and the specific context in which we collect it.
However, we will normally collect personal information from you only (i) where we need the personal information to perform a contract with you, (ii) where the processing is in our legitimate interests and not overridden by your data protection interests or fundamental rights and freedoms, or (iii) where we have your consent to do so. In some cases, we may also have a legal obligation to collect personal information from you or may otherwise need the personal information to protect your vital interests or those of another person.
If we ask you to provide personal information to comply with a legal requirement, we will make this clear at the relevant time and advise you whether the provision of your personal information is mandatory or not (as well as of the possible consequences if you do not provide your personal information).
Similarly, if we collect and use your personal information in reliance on our legitimate interests (or those of any third party), we will make clear to you at the relevant time what those legitimate interests are.
7. How do we keep your personal information secure?
We use appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect the personal information that we collect and process about you. The measures we use are designed to provide a level of security appropriate to the risk of processing your personal information. Specific measures we use include:
* Keeping your information up-to-date and accurate. Please note that, to do this, we require you to tell us if any of your details such as your name or address change;
* Having in place strict security procedures for the storage and disclosure of your
information to prevent unauthorised access.
Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted through email and any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.
8. Data retention
We retain personal information we collect from you where we have an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, to provide you with a service you have requested or to comply with applicable legal, tax or accounting requirements).
When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymise it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible. For more information about the specific periods for which we retain your data, please contact us.
9.Your data protection rights
You have the following data protection rights:
* If you wish to access, correct, update or request deletion of your personal information, you can do so at any time by contacting the practice.
* In addition, you can object to processing of your personal information, ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or request portability of your personal information. You can exercise these rights by contacting us.
* You have the right to opt-out of marketing communications we send you at any time. You can exercise this right by clicking on the “unsubscribe” or “opt-out” link in the marketing e-mails we send you. To opt-out of other forms of marketing (such as postal marketing or telemarketing), then please contact us.
* Similarly, if we have collected and processed your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.
* You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information. (Go ahead, make my day...)
We respond to all requests we receive from individuals wishing to exercise their data protection rights in accordance with applicable data protection laws.
10. Contacting the regulator
If you feel that your personal information has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with our response to any requests you have made to us regarding the use of your personal information, you have the right to raise a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1113 or go online to www.ico.org.uk/concerns(please note we cannot be responsible for the content of external websites).
12. How to contact us
If you have any questions or concerns about our use of your personal information, please contact our Data Protection Officer at the following address email@example.com
At Home Veterinary Service Ltd
St.Mary's Veterinary Surgery
5 St.Mary's Way
If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us: