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Prescription Without Consultation

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Hi all,

 

One of my cats has just come back from the vet with a suspected urinary infection - something he has had several times before.

 

Upon arrival he was taken into the back room as he was very vocal and it is quieter than in the waiting room. When I was taken into a consulting room, my cat was back in his basket and I was informed he'd already been given two injections and all the medication he was going to need was being prepared. I was asked very few questions about the behaviour of my cat and I was only given directions on how to use the prescriptions.

 

When I got home I realised he's been prescribed a huge amount of pain relief - in addition to the pain relief injections he was given on site - when I wasn't asked whether he appeared to be in pain.

 

I called them straight up and pointed out the additional prescriptions and that I felt they were unnecessary, and could I return them for a refund. I've been told that medication taken off site cannot be refunded.

 

I'm really annoyed that it wasn't discussed or explained to me first why he was being given this medication and whether I was happy, and are now 30 minutes later telling me I can't get a refund when I've had chance to look at what's been given.

 

Please advise if I have any rights here?

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You are meant to agree any course of treatment and be given an approximate cost before it's carried out. What medication was given in the surgery and what were you sent home with? I'm not asking out of idle curiosity, pain med dosage (both amount and frequency) is pretty critical with cats.

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Hi all,

 

One of my cats has just come back from the vet with a suspected urinary infection - something he has had several times before.

 

Upon arrival he was taken into the back room as he was very vocal and it is quieter than in the waiting room. When I was taken into a consulting room, my cat was back in his basket and I was informed he'd already been given two injections and all the medication he was going to need was being prepared. I was asked very few questions about the behaviour of my cat and I was only given directions on how to use the prescriptions.

 

When I got home I realised he's been prescribed a huge amount of pain relief - in addition to the pain relief injections he was given on site - when I wasn't asked whether he appeared to be in pain.

 

I called them straight up and pointed out the additional prescriptions and that I felt they were unnecessary, and could I return them for a refund. I've been told that medication taken off site cannot be refunded.

 

I'm really annoyed that it wasn't discussed or explained to me first why he was being given this medication and whether I was happy, and are now 30 minutes later telling me I can't get a refund when I've had chance to look at what's been given.

 

Please advise if I have any rights here?

 

They are correct that medication cannot be exchanged once taken off site and not a lot you can do about it except change vets.

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It really does depend what's been prescribed which is why I've asked for details. If the cocktail includes something contra-indicated or not prescribed exactly as per the manufacturer's datasheet then it can be questioned and returned.

 

 

Completely agree with changing vets. This wasn't how a client should be treated.

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You are meant to agree any course of treatment and be given an approximate cost before it's carried out. What medication was given in the surgery and what were you sent home with? I'm not asking out of idle curiosity, pain med dosage (both amount and frequency) is pretty critical with cats.

 

Sorry if I didn't phrase something correctly but my cat didn't have surgery - it was just a consultation.

 

As far as I knew, my cat was being taken into a quieter room as the waiting room was making him more distressed, and I would be called into a consulting room to go through everything with the vet. But by the time I saw the vet, my cat had already been given two injections and syringes of pain relief had been made up for me to take home. I was not consulted about either beforehand, we didn't go through why I was there or what symptoms and behaviour had been displayed, etc. Not that I have a complaint about the injections he was given but it's the principle that I didn't authorise them to do or give anything to my cat.

 

I realise now I should probably have said something whilst I was still there, but I didn't properly look at my receipt until I got home, and my cat was distressed being there and I just wanted to get him out. That's why I phoned immediately after I got back (less than half an hour after I'd left) to query it.

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I meant at the vet surgery, not that your cat had surgery. They shouldn't have administered anything until you'd agreed. Did you get the full receipt showing everything your cat was given? If not please phone them and ask for the details of every drug prescribed including what was given by the vet.

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The following is from the RCVS code of conduct for vets http://www.rcvs.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/code-of-professional-conduct-for-veterinary-surgeons/

 

 

2.3 Veterinary surgeons must provide appropriate information to clients about the practice, including the costs of services and medicines.

[9. Practice information, fees and animal insurance] [10. Fair trading requirements]

2.4 Veterinary surgeons must communicate effectively with clients, including in written and spoken English, and ensure informed consent is obtained before treatments or procedures are carried out.

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The further description of informed consent is fairly clear and reads as follows -

 

 

11.1 Informed consent, which is an essential part of any contract, can only be given by a client who has had the opportunity to consider a range of reasonable treatment options, with associated fee estimates, and had the significance and main risks explained to them.

doesn't seem to apply from your description of the visit. A course of treatment can be anything from a single shot of antibiotic to years of ongoing repeat visits for an ongoing condition such as diabetes. Whatever it is, the vet is meant to discuss it with you first.

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Thank you very much Hightail, that's very useful. I've just called and spoken to the practice manager and pointed this out. They have agreed the actions of the vet concerned were wrong and have agreed to refund the medications we didn't request.

 

You were a big help, I really appreciate it!

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Couldn't be happier. Partly happy about your success but just as much hopeful your actions help change an apparently arrogant attitude in that particular practice :)

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