Fees and Pricing Structure
At Robson & Prescott we aim to provide the best possible care for your pet. We recognise that there are sometimes financial constraints which we need to take into account when deciding on a course of investigation or treatment. Our priority is to treat your pet as best as we possibly can so we will always discuss the financial implications of a proposed investigation or treatment in order to be certain that the chosen course of action is within your means.
Please be aware that:
1. A consultation fee with always apply when you consult a veterinary surgeon. Follow-up consultations for the same condition are usually charged at a reduced rate.
2. We have a set fee for vaccinations and neutering. We offer puppy and kitten packages that include substantial discounts on the cost of vaccinations, parasite control, microchipping and neutering. Please contact us for other prices and for a list of typical prices for routine procedures.
3. If your pet is ill and requires diagnostic, surgical or medical interventions then we will provide you with a printed estimate at your request and discuss potential cost prior to beginning any work so you can make an informed choice for your pet.
4. Our fees are the same whether your pet is insured or not.
Methods of Payment
Our policy is that payment should be made at the time of treatment - we do not operate a credit system or routinely send accounts.
For insured pets, we may be able to make a ‘direct claim’ to your insurance company, in which case you will be liable only for your insurance excess, our administration fee, and any other fees subject to the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. Please note that this service is offered on an individual basis and at the sole discretion of the directors. Please discuss this with us prior to any treatment.
We accept cash, and will also accept cheques with a valid Cheque Guarantee card. We also accept most credit and debit cards (but not American Express and Solo).
Clients with an outstanding balance on their account will routinely be sent a reminder the day after their visit to the practice, and then further statements will routinely be sent in the middle and end of each calendar month.
If you have made a recent payment this may not be reflected in your current statement. Please feel free to call us if you think your statement is incorrect.
Value for Money
Costs reflect service. We believe that cheap does not necessarily mean good value and we aim to provide the best possible value for money. Our clients expect, and we aim to provide, a level of care, facilities and a level of professional services that are well above average.
All of our small animal work is charged at the time of consultation or when you collect your pet after an operation, procedure or hospitalisation. Our prices include VAT at 20%, a list of our common fees is displayed in the reception area of all our surgeries, if you require a price for any other procedure or operation please contact us on 01670 512275 and we will arrange for an estimate to be provided for you - this is an estimate of costs only, and while Robson & Prescott endeavour to give an accurate estimate, the nature of veterinary medicine and surgery is such that it is impossible to predict costs exactly.
Robson & Prescott advocate getting your pet insured with a reputable insurance company. When your pet has treatment that is covered by the policy you can then submit a claim form to the insurance company for reimbursement of the costs, most insurance companies will ask for a section of their claim form to be filled in by your veterinary surgeon. To cover our administration costs we charge an annual fee per condition for completing this section of the form which also covers any subsequent claims for that condition in that year. For our insurance claim guidance notes, see the information box above this one.
Out of Hours Service
In the event that your pet requires emergency care please call 01670 512275 and we will arrange an appointment as necessary. Your out of hours telephone call connects directly to one of our veterinary surgeons who can advise you on the best course of action for your pet.
PLEASE NOTE - We do not operate a drop in service. All emergencies must call the out of hours number to make an appointment. All appointments must be paid for at the time of consultation.
Small Animal: Emergency care is provided 24 hours a day at our Whorral Bank Hospital in Morpeth. We have a dedicated team of vets and nurses who are able to provide on-site, round the clock care for your pet.
Equine: Our team of equine vets provide 24/7 care from our Whorral Bank Hospital. We are able to come out to your yard to examine your hourse and in-patient facilites are available at Morpeth if required.
Farm: Out of hours care can be provided both on farm or at the hospital.
All hospitalised animals are cared for at our Whorral Bank Hospital.
As a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons recognised Veterinary Hospital we offer the highest possible standards of in-patient care. Our hospital is staffed 24 hours a day, every day of the year, by a fully trained and dedicated team. This ensures that we are able to treat every patient according to their individual needs.
Our hospital vets and nurses will contact you daily with updates on the condition and progress of your pet.
We ask that you provide an emergency contact number, or numbers, and that you are available to be contacted in case of emergency at all times. You may also provide contact details for someone that you have authorised to make decisions about your pet’s care in your absence.
Operations and Procedures
Routine operations are carried out Monday to Friday, you will be given an appointment time (usually between 8am and 9.30am) to bring our pet to the surgery for a vet or nurse to examine and admit them as a day patient. Our vets and nurses carry out operations and throughout the day and once your pet is in recovery we will give you a call to arrange a collect appointment, which will usually be before 5pm the same day. We have operating facilities at our Whorral Bank Hospital and at our Alnwick, Ashington and Blyth surgeries.
Second Opinions and Referrals
Robson & Prescott Veterinary Surgeons are happy to see second opinions from other veterinary practices. However, it is a professional requirement that we contact the client’s previous vets for the clinical history. For this reason, we will ask for the previous vet’s details so that we may obtain relevant notes before our first examination. It is imperative that clients co-operate with us in this matter in order to ensure appropriate continuity of care. Without this information we may chose a medication that might interact with one previously used, causing problems to your pet. Also, we would not want to put a patient through diagnostic tests unnecessarily in instances where those tests have been previously performed. Additional fees may apply for second opinion consultations.
We are aware that our clients may wish to seek a second opinion at another veterinary practice from time to time. We will forward all relevant clinical notes and laboratory test results directly to the instructed vet. There is no charge for this service. Film radiographs (X rays) that may have been taken as part of a case always remain the property of Robson & Prescott; we will, however, provide our interpretation of them to the newly instructed veterinary practice. If digital radiographic images have been obtained, these will be forwarded directly to the new vet.
Occasionally it is necessary for our vets to refer a case to one of their colleagues, this is usually when a case requires a vet who has more experience in a particular area. More often than not this can be done 'in house' to one of our own vets but sometimes we may need to refer your pet to a specialist who works outside of the practice. We will discuss the options available to you. We will help arrange these appointments and liaise with the referral practice for you. We will forward any pertinent clinical notes, laboratory results and radiographs.
Access to and Ownership of Information and Records
Client and patient information will not be released to any third party without the prior written consent of the client.
We reserve the right to use client and patient data for the purposes of internal audit. We may release anonymised data for external studies and audit.
Clients may on occasions wish to read the clinical notes pertaining to their pet. We are happy for any client to make an appointment to view the relevant notes with a member of staff on hand to help interpret the medical abbreviations used.
Patient clinical records, laboratory results and diagnostic images are the property of Robson & Prescott Veterinary Surgeons. We will, subject to your written request, forward these documents directly to another veterinary surgeon or practice. We may, at the sole discretion of the directors, release these records to a client but please be aware that there is no entitlement to this. We are obliged to retain film radiographs and hard copies of patient records and so these must always remain in our possession.
We hope that you will never have cause to complain about our staff, or the standard of care that we provide your pets.
Should you have any concerns at all, please speak to the senior member of our nursing team, or the senior veterinary surgeon, at the relevant branch. Most problems should be able to be resolved at this level.
More serious complaints must be addressed, in writing, to the Practice Manager. We will then fully investigate the complaint and respond to you, also in writing.
If you are not happy with the way that our team handle a complaint regarding the professional conduct of one of our Veterinary Surgeons, or Registered Veterinary Nurses, then you may contact the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Professional Conduct Department.
Robson & Prescott Veterinary Surgeons will not tolerate any aggressive or abusive behaviour to any staff member at any time. Any client behaving in such a manner will be asked to leave the premises immediately and will then be notified in writing that they must seek alternative veterinary care.