Hospital for Small Animals

Terms & Conditions

These terms and conditions set out the basis on which we, The Hospital for Small Animals, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Campus, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9RG (the “Hospital”) shall provide veterinary services to you in respect of your Pet.

The Hospital for Small Animals is part of the University of Edinburgh, and these terms & conditions are between the relevant Owner/Agent and The University Court of the University of Edinburgh, a charitable body registered in Scotland (registration number SC005336), incorporated under the Universities (Scotland) Acts and having its administrative offices located at Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL (“We”). Where a consent form has been signed by you for treatment of your Pet, these terms and conditions should be read in conjunction with the applicable Consent Form and Agreement to Estimated Cost of Treatment and Terms and Conditions (the “Consent Form”). Terms capitalised in these terms and conditions have the same meaning as set out in the applicable Consent Form except where stated otherwise.

We provide two kinds of veterinary services:

  • services for animals which have been referred to us by another veterinary practice which would normally provide day to day care for the animal. We call these “Referred Patients”.
  • primary care services for dogs and cats in our Dick Vet General Practice and for other small pets (such as rabbits, reptiles and birds) in our Dick Vet Rabbit and Exotics Practice. We call these animals “First Opinion Patients”.

Please note that these terms and conditions shall apply to both the Referred Patients and the First Opinion Patients unless We specifically state that a term applies to only one category.

1. Referred Patients

Your Pet has been referred to us for specialist investigation and/or treatment. Please note that ongoing care remains with your referring veterinary surgeon. Prior to your initial consultation with us, your veterinary practice should submit any relevant case history about the Pet to us and should also discuss likely costs of investigation and treatment with you. Our clinicians can provide your referring veterinary surgeon with an estimate upon request. Our initial consultation may reveal factors which may result in a course of treatment which affects the estimated fee. You should be aware that it is standard procedure to admit your pet for further investigation and/or treatment. For services other than our Cardiopulmonary and Dermatology services this may involve at least one overnight stay for the Pet at the Hospital.

We aim to return your Pet to you and its ongoing care to your referring veterinary surgeon as soon as possible but some conditions may require ongoing specialist attention and treatment at the Hospital. We will inform your veterinary surgeon of the outcome of your Pet’s attendance at the Hospital, and will advise them of ongoing care and support needs of your pet.

2. Registration as a first opinion client

We are unable to allow registration of a referred case, or any other pets belonging to the Owner, in our Dick Vet General Practice until at least 6 months from termination of our care of the case as a referred patient. Exotic animals can be registered provided they have not been seen by their current veterinary surgeon in the last 12 months or until at least 6 months from termination of our care of the case as a referred patient.

3. Opening Hours

Our opening hours are listed in our website at https://www.ed.ac.uk/vet/services/small-animals/vet-practices/dick-vet-general-practice/opening-hours .

We reserve the right to alter our opening hours on bank or public holidays. Consultations must be made by prior appointment. Emergency consultations will take place as soon as possible regardless of the time of day and may incur additional charges.

4. Out-of-hours Emergencies

For First Opinion Patients only: Details of our out-of-hours emergency service are available by calling 0131 650 7650. Please be prepared to provide your name and address, the Pet’s details and the nature of your Pet’s problems.

For Referred Patients only: If your Pet has previously been referred to us and referral treatment has been completed, you should contact your primary veterinary surgeon in the first instance for any emergency. If your Pet is with you but still under our care, please contact us in cases of emergency relating to the referral condition by calling 0131 650 7650.

For security reasons, our staff are unable to admit you into the Hospital out of normal working hours without prior telephone notice from you. Please note that some insurance companies will not cover the cost of an emergency consultation if it is made for convenience of the owner rather than as required by the clinical needs of the pet.

The hospital is staffed 24 hours a day by veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses. Out of hours emergency matters for referred patients shall initially be attended to by the service resident who is supported by on duty senior medicine, exotics, anaesthesia and surgical clinicians. Our out-of-hours emergency service aims to stabilise our patients and provide suitable care and support until the appropriate Specialist Service Clinician is available.

5. Fees

The fee we charge you for our services is determined by the time spent by us treating your pet, and according to the drugs, materials, procedures, consumables and diets used. Each of these will be subject to VAT at the current rate. Our written fee list is available on request. Where a case requires input from additional specialist services, appropriate fees will be charged. In certain cases, a deposit may be required prior to us performing services. 

Methods of Payments

Accounts are due for settlement at the end of the consultation, the discharge of your pet or upon collection of drugs or diets, as applicable. We accept the following methods of payment: 

Cash, and Credit or Debit Card – Switch Maestro, Solo, Visa, MasterCard, Delta. Please note we do not accept American Express. 

Estimates of Fees

We will happily provide a written initial estimate as to the probable costs of a course of treatment on the relevant Consent Form where applicable. Please bear in mind that any estimate given can only be approximate – often a pet’s illness will not follow a conventional course. You should discuss the cost of ongoing treatment with your clinician.

Referred cases are by their nature more complex and costs can accordingly be more variable. The initial estimate will relate to costs relating to that visit and initial treatment. Please note that there will be additional charges for further revisit examinations and treatments for that condition but these will be agreed with you in advance.

Paying our fees and Overdue Payments

If your Pet is insured: please bring an insurance claim form to your appointment with the relevant sections completed and the form signed by you. You agree to payment of your policy excess on the day of your appointment. If your pet is not insured or you wish for payment to be made directly by your insurers you agree to pay a 50% deposit of the maximum estimated fee (which may be set out on the Consent Form where applicable). In all cases, payment is required upon discharge of your pet from the hospital. Please be aware that bills may not be finalised at the point of patient discharge.

Please note that the responsibility for settling the account lies with the Owner. Should an account not be settled promptly then a reminder will be sent. After due notice to you, the client, overdue accounts will be referred to our Solicitor and further charges will be levied in respect of costs incurred in collecting the debt (including but not limited to reasonable legal fees). Any cheque returned by our bank as unpaid, and credit card payment not honoured and any cash tendered that is found to be counterfeit will result in the account being restored to the original sum with further charges added in respect of bank charges and administrative costs together with interest on the principal sum. Where a client has an overdue account but requires further services for any of his or her animals, We may require that the outstanding account be settled in full prior to the appointment. If animals are presented for treatment while an account is outstanding, We may determine that only emergency care can be provided until the account is settled. If you have, or anticipate having, any difficulties in settling your account then you should contact our accounts department: Tel 0131 650 7566 / email clinicalfinanceaccounts@ed.ac.uk as soon as possible.

6. In-Patient Care

Where We consider that your Pet needs to be admitted to the Hospital, they will be housed in one of our hospital wards in an individual hospital cage with appropriate bedding, food and water. We will monitor your Pet according to the nature of their condition. In some cases this may include up to constant 24 hour monitoring in our intensive care ward. For reasons of logistics, security, biosecurity and your Pet’s general comfort, it is not possible to allow routine visits during your Pet’s admission as an in-patient. 

7. Personal Items

In accordance with our strict infection control and biosecurity policy you will not normally be allowed to leave personal items with your Pet. We take great care of all our hospitalised patients and we have a range of options to manage anxiety and prevent boredom. Personal items may be left at the Hospital’s discretion in exceptional circumstances but will be subject to our infection control guidelines and We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that results.

8. Medicines

On occasion, We may have to administer drugs to your Pet. So that we can prescribe particular classes of drugs (“POM-Vs” or “prescription only medicine-veterinarian”) your Pet shall be under our care and We shall carry out an appropriate clinical assessment on them. On occasions we may be unable to obtain the medication appropriate to your Pet in a licenced form. By signing the Consent Form  (where applicable) you give us your consent to use such medication outwith licenced conditions. Few licenced products are available for exotics species. Further information about the rules on the supply of veterinary medicines is available from us on request.

A client can request a prescription in order to obtain veterinary medicines from a veterinary surgeon or pharmacy of his or her choosing. We shall charge you a set fee in respect of each item prescribed. The price of medicines and prescription fees can be provided on request. Our invoice for the fees we charge you will distinguish between the fees for our professional services, and the fees for medicinal products.

If your Pet is a referred patient, we will normally expect your own veterinary surgeon to prescribe and supply on-going medication.

Depending on the type of medication we may repeat prescriptions for up to 6 months, but for some medication this period may be shorter. Re-examination of patients on long term medication is required at least every 6 months and more frequently if indicated. A consultation fee is applicable for re-examination, clinical assessment and review of medicines.

Please give us at least 2 working day’s notice for collection of repeat prescriptions from us by completing the online request form at www.dickvetprescriptions.com. In exceptional circumstances (including, for example, where you are unable to collect medications from the hospital) we may make arrangements to post prescriptions to you. Please note that packages of this nature will require your signature on receipt. You agree to pay for all medications and postage charges in advance of us posting any item of medications, and we shall only do so where we have received such payment from you. 

9. Returning Medicines to Us

Any unused medicines and medicine containers which we have supplied may be returned to us for safe disposal at no extra charge. We regret we are unable to offer a refund on any unused medicines. Where you give us any medicines or medicine containers which have been supplied to you by another veterinary practice, we shall charge you a fee for its safe disposal.

10. Discount Schemes

We may from time to time offer discounts to certain clients (such as registered charities). Please ask the hospital reception for details of current discounts and promotions. We reserve the right not to apply any discount where your account is or becomes overdue for payment.

11. Pet Health Insurance

When you obtain a policy of health insurance for your Pet, this will be a contract between you and the relevant provider of that policy. We strongly advise you to contact the policy provider to seek their confirmation that any proposed treatment will be covered by the policy and that you are aware of the level of cover, exclusions and excesses, as well as any other relevant matters. At your request, we can make a direct claim to the policy holder on your behalf. However, you will still be responsible for settling our fees following any settlement from your policy provider. In the unfortunate event of the death or euthanasia of your Pet, please be aware that insurance providers often do not cover the costs of private cremation.

12. How We Use Your Information

In the course of providing veterinary services to you, we gather information which relates to you. We will use your personal information to provide veterinary services and to process your payment for such services. We may confirm your appointments or send reminders by post, SMS (text) or email, and may get in touch by phone for follow-up calls.  In addition, we will use your personal data to send you our regular newsletter and other information about our veterinary services. We may also use your data to invite you and your pet to participate in relevant ethically approved research projects being conducted by The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies or its partners. All communications will be by post. You may stop receiving these communications at any time by contacting us by phone at 0131 650 7650, email at hfsareception@ed.ac.uk or post to address overleaf. 

13. Ownership of Samples and Images, and use of our Records

Diagnostic samples (e.g. fluid or tissue samples) and surgically resected tissue and/or samples collected from your animal during a clinically indicated intervention (e.g. catheter placement) will become the property of The University of Edinburgh. Case records relating to your animal, including diagnostic images, radiographs, scans, laboratory reports and similar documents, are the property of, and will be retained by, The University of Edinburgh. Diagnostic samples/tissue and case records may be shared with third parties, and used for teaching or research purposes by The University of Edinburgh and its collaborators (whether academic or non-academic). The University of Edinburgh may choose to commercialise the results of any such research. Copies of records, with a summary of the case history, will be passed on request to another veterinary surgeon attending to the patient. Charges are applicable for imaging copies.

14. Complaints and Standards

You and We agree that:

These terms and conditions and (where applicable) the Consent Form (including non-contractual disputes or claims) are governed by Scots law. You and We both agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish courts to settle any dispute or claim (including non-contractual disputes or claims) arising out of or in connection with the Consent Form (where applicable) and these terms and conditions or their subject matter or formation.

These terms and conditions, together with the Consent Form (where applicable), constitute the entire agreement between us relating to their subject matter and supersedes and extinguishes all previous agreements, promises, assurances, warranties, representations and understandings between them, whether written or oral, relating to its subject matter.

These terms and conditions, together with the Consent Form (where applicable), are a contract between you and us. No other person shall have any rights to enforce any of its terms.

No variation of these terms and conditions or the Consent Form (where applicable) will be binding on the Hospital unless any such variation is specifically agreed in writing and signed by the Hospital Director. The Hospital reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions from time to time. Updated terms and conditions are available from the hospital reception upon request.

If any provision or part-provision of these terms and conditions or the Consent Form (where applicable) is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable, it shall be deemed deleted, but that shall not affect the validity and enforceability of the rest of these terms and conditions or the Consent Form (as applicable).

15. Liability to You

If We fail to comply with these terms and conditions, We are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breach of the terms and conditions, or our negligence, but We are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if they were an obvious consequence of our breach or if they were contemplated by you and us at the time we entered into this agreement.

Neither party excludes or limits in any way its liability for: death or personal injury to any person caused by its negligence or the negligence of its employees, agents or subcontractors; fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation; or any other liability to the extent such liability cannot be excluded or limited by law.