Animal hospital vet services
These terms and conditions are applicable to members of the public who use the following RSPCA services:
- Birmingham Animal Hospital
- Finsbury Park Animal Hospital
- Greater Manchester Animal Hospital
- Merthyr Tydfil Animal Clinic
The RSPCA is the leading UK animal welfare charity. We specialise in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of animals in the greatest need, and the prevention of cruelty. RSPCA hospitals and clinics are committed to animal welfare and provide reduced cost veterinary assistance on these terms and conditions of service for those clients who are in receipt of an eligible means tested benefit. If you are not eligible for reduced cost veterinary assistance, we can only provide emergency veterinary assistance at an unsubsidised rate.
To be eligible to receive any RSPCA veterinary services, you must be over 18 and registered at the clinic prior to receiving any services. You may register outside of the clinic's usual opening hours in respect of emergency veterinary assistance only.
The RSPCA is closed to new registrations from members of the public and may decline to permit the registration of any animal at their discretion, for example if they believe the owner is breeding from the animal.
Reduced Cost Veterinary Assistance
To register for this service, you must attend the clinic during regular opening times prior to any veterinary service being received and must provide the following documentary proof of eligibility:
Proof of benefits
An award letter from your local DWP or similar documentation is required. (Current Post office/Bank Statements are acceptable).
For Universal Credit: 'payments' page on their universal credit log-in or a recent (last 1-2 months) bank statement with the UC payment showing.
Original evidence of one of a defined list of means tested benefits:
- Income support
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit (only the parts related to IS, JSA, ESA- not Working Tax Credit, Child tax Credit or any other components). Must be receiving a Standard Allowance and show up-to-date proof- see above.
Photographic proof of identity and age (over 18), being either:
- Driving licence
Proof of address at which you are the householder/rent payer of the property, e.g. utility bill, within the defined catchment area (within one of the following postal codes for new clients):
- Clients who are unable to provide all of the required documentation or are otherwise ineligible can only be provided with an emergency, unsubsidised treatment service and will need to seek continued care privately.
RSPCA veterinary service to registered clients and members of the public will end on:
- 9 December 2022
- Birmingham Animal Hospital
- Greater Manchester Animal Hospital
- Merthyr Tydfil Clinic
Finsbury Park should have a continuous service for registered eligible clients. It is proposed Finsbury Park Animal Hospital will transfer to PDSA on 14 November 2022 who will continue to run the hospital, PDSA will continue to service the RSPCA Finsbury Park postcode eligibility criteria.
Active registered clients will receive letters regarding this change and other vet services available in their local area. Questions about the end of RSPCA public veterinary service can be emailed to: email@example.com.
Emergency veterinary assistance
Proof of identity and proof of address is required. You must be prepared to pay in full at the time of the consultation or upon discharge of your animal following surgery/ hospitalisation.
In the event of an emergency, the RSPCA will provide initial stabilisation or emergency treatment for any animal, including euthanasia when this is in the best interests of the animal. This will be charged to clients (other than those eligible for reduced cost veterinary assistance) at an unsubsidised rate.
Referrals from private or other charity veterinary practices
- Clients who wish to be referred to the RSPCA for assistance must follow the registration process prior to the animal receiving treatment. The eligibility criteria apply in all cases.
- Referrals by email, fax or letter require full clinical histories, including relevant:
- laboratory results, radiographs, scans etc, to be evaluated by a veterinary surgeon for acceptance.
- Transfers from private veterinary surgeons will only be accepted during weekdays within normal working hours.
- Not all referrals can be accepted and there are certain procedures that are not undertaken/part-funded by the charity: requests for such procedures will be declined. For example, we do not accept referrals for caesarean sections.
- The registered name and address on the referral must match the identity of the eligible person or referral will be declined.
- The RSPCA does not provide a second opinion service.
The maximum number of animals you can register for reduced cost veterinary assistance is two, only one of which may be a purebred, pedigree or "designer crossbreed". This limitation does not apply to animals rehomed from the RSPCA. Determination of eligibility for these purposes is at the entire discretion of the RSPCA, whose decision is final.
Loss, death and rehoming of animal
If a registered animal goes missing or dies, the clinic must be notified immediately so that clinical records can be updated. If a registered animal is rehomed the clinic must be notified immediately so that clinical records can be provided by referral to the new owner's vet. A period of six months must pass before you may register another animal, making it even more important to notify us of changes to a registered animal immediately.
Neutering and microchipping
All registered dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets must be neutered and micro-chipped at the first opportunity after registration for reduced cost veterinary assistance.
- Micro-chipping is free with any surgical procedure, and involves a chip being injected under the skin.
- Microchip numbers must be registered on the microchip database to the owner, and to their current home address, which must match the address given on registration.
- If you do not have your animal/s neutered after being given a second opportunity to do so, and usually within six months of registration, you will no longer be eligible for veterinary assistance.
- The only exception to this rule is when a vet considers either procedure to be unsuitable for the particular animal at that time.
How we use your information
If you register to receive veterinary services for your animal/s, the RSPCA will collect and use the details you give to provide you with the service. We need to keep a record of your name and address, what animals you own, details of your eligibility (as above) and how to contact you if we need to. We will also record details of your animal's treatment. Your personal data will be treated in confidence, fairly and lawfully. For further information on how the RSPCA handles personal information, please see our current Privacy Notice: https://www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/privacy.
We may have to share your personal data with third parties in the event that we choose to sell, transfer or reorganise all or part of our business or assets (including, but not limited to our client records) or if we amalgamate, reorganise or merge our business. If such a change happens and your data is transferred or made available to a new owner or third party, then we will take reasonable steps to ensure that you are notified accordingly, and such new owner or third party continues to use your personal data in a fair, lawful and transparent manner.
If you need a copy of your animal's treatment for your own records we're happy to supply it. The RSPCA remains the owner of all records, including any scans or radiographs taken of your animal. We will not release any records to you or another vet if you have not paid all fees due to us.
The RSPCA has limited resources and will only be able to continue to provide a subsidised veterinary service to members of the public by receiving payment, albeit at a reduced rate. The RSPCA provides a reduced cost veterinary service; it does not accept contributions or donations instead of payment. Fees are charged for all consultations, examination, treatment, drugs, materials and consumables.
All fees incurred must be paid in full, at the time of consultation or upon discharge following surgery/hospitalisation.
- Clients whose pets are admitted for surgery/hospitalisation are required to pay for initial diagnostic examinations/treatment on admittance.
- Blood tests or samples for external diagnostic laboratories need to be paid for in full before samples are sent.
- The RSPCA is not licensed to offer payment instalment plans and cannot offer
- credit to clients. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons permits any veterinary practice, where a fee remains unpaid, to place the matter in the hands of a debt collection agency or to institute civil proceedings.
Historical debts must be paid in full prior to any further veterinary service being provided.
Please see the list of most common veterinary services price list (for eligible clients) at the hospital.
Presented emergency cases for non-eligible clients or animals are chargeable at unsubsidised fees, comparable to private veterinary rates.
You will be provided with an estimate of the likely costs of treatment once the veterinary surgeon has examined your animal. Please understand that any estimate can only be approximate as the treatment to be provided will vary according to how your pet responds.
Prescriptions are available from this practice. You may either obtain prescribed veterinary medicinal products from your veterinary surgeon or ask for a written prescription and obtain these medicines from another veterinary surgeon or a pharmacy.
- We may prescribe relevant veterinary medicinal products only following a clinical assessment of an animal under his or her care.
- A prescription may not be appropriate if your animal is an in-patient or immediate treatment is necessary.
Our general policy is to re-assess an animal requiring repeat prescriptions for/supplies of relevant veterinary medicinal products every 3-6 months, but this may vary with individual circumstances.
Clinic access and opening times
- Monday to Friday, daytime, please check with your local practice for opening hours
- Emergency service at all other times
- Via interactive voice response system (IVR):
- Finsbury Park - 0300 123 0712
- Manchester - 0300 123 0711
- Merthyr Tydfil - 0300 123 0725
- Birmingham - 0300 123 8585
- Out of hours, this number will provide an emergency contact via the IVR
- Veterinary regulator: Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
- Our Public liability insurers are Griffiths & Armour Insurance Brokers Ltd
- Any complaints should be directed to hospital or clinic management
- For other animal welfare concerns (e.g. trapped wildlife), the National Call Centre hotline is 0300 1234 999
- We may change any of these terms and conditions from time to time without notice. We will display updated copies of the terms at the clinic.
- Your statutory rights as a consumer are not affected by anything in these terms.