Business Terms

Payment is expected at the time of veterinary services and treatment; this may attract a 5% discount. Cash, debit cards or credit cards are all accepted; you will receive an itemised receipt. Credit will not be available other than by written agreement with Helen Whitbread. A late payment surcharge may be added if not paid within 14days; this will be at least 5% or £5 whichever is greater. Any expenses incurred by the practice in recovering debts will be added to the appropriate account. Services will be withdrawn from those who fail to comply with the terms of payment.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty then please let the practice know, in writing, as soon as possible.

New Clients

Currently we are unable to accept any new clients outside of normal working hours.  During normal hours, new clients may be accepted but may be asked for references or to provide a guarantor or deposit.


Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic’s professional service fees, veterinary medicines supplied and consumables used are subject to VAT at the current rate.

Fee Estimates

Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic will provide a written estimate of the costs of treatment upon request. Whilst we endeavour to ensure any estimate to be representative of the treatment, it is difficult to determine, in advance, and prior to diagnosis, what may be specifically required for your animal. Estimates are therefore subject to variation. Please be aware that where unexpected problems and complications transpire, costs may increase.


Third party liability insurance is essential for all horse owners. We strongly recommend insurance cover for veterinary fees and suggest that you take out the best level of cover you can afford. A limit of £10,000 is the highest level of cover available at present – with the advancements made in veterinary medicine and surgery over the last two decades, large amounts of money can quickly be spent. Most policies offer £5000 Vet fee cover as standard.

Everyone tells you to read the small print, but check that cheaper policies do not carry larger excesses – perhaps disguised as a percentage rather than a fixed amount. Check whether or not your policy covers hospitalisation or visit fees, physiotherapy, surgical shoeing or if these are only covered if you pay extra. Some companies do not pay for supplements even if they are recommended by a vet. Others will only pay half the cost of an MRI scan. Beware cheaper policies with lower level of vet fee cover, e.g. only £3,000 per incident or less.

If you have lower veterinary fee cover or no vet fee cover at all, are you prepared to pay the veterinary fees yourself, request sub-optimal treatment or, as a worst case scenario, consider euthanasia as a possible cheaper option? For instance, a horse requiring colic surgery in 2018 is likely to exceed £5,000 in vet fees, on day one alone.

Please note: we are not qualified to offer financial advice and these are only tips based on our personal experience.

Veterinary Fee Insurance Claims

Under some circumstances*, we will allow our regular clients to pay us their insurance excess and request that their insurance company settle with us directly. Sadly, this system is being abused by some and in future all clients may have to pay us in advance of their insurance company settling their claim. There is a charge of £17 + VAT which covers the cost of us handling each new claim as of 1st April 2020. Additional fees are charged for written reports or additional letters to insurance companies or third parties.

(* restrictions apply, please discuss with your vet.)

Loss of Use / Death Claims

Loss of use is an additional insurance item which is available at extra cost with some insurance companies under certain circumstances. It provides cover if your horse is no longer able to perform the job for which it was purchased and insured for, eg dressage. Mortality cover is available on most policies, but commonly a claim is only settled by the insurance company if the horse required immediate humane destruction (i.e. it would be cruel to keep the horse alive, not just because it can’t be ridden etc). Validity of all claims is always at the discretion of your insurance company.


Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic may advise that your horse, pony or donkey requires referral to a specialist veterinary surgeon, clinic or hospital. Usually we will refer our patients to Rossdales Equine Hospital, Exning, Newmarket. As an independent Practice, we are happy to recommend the most appropriate specialist veterinary surgeon, hospital or treatment centre. Ultimately you are free to choose where your horse is referred to. We also have visiting specialists come to the clinic; in the past this has included advanced dentistry and endodontics, cardiology, laser sarcoid removal, ophthalmology and dermatology.

We will manage the transfer of case history, findings from clinical investigations and any accompanying records (such as radiographs) as part of the referral. 


All horses, ponies and donkeys are legally required to have a valid passport. This is to be kept with the animal and is to be available for inspection at all times. We recommend all horses, ponies and donkeys under our care are signed ‘not intended for human consumption’ in their passports (section IX). This means there is no restriction on which drugs your horse can receive and also means that your horse cannot be slaughtered and end up in the human food chain. Please speak to us about this if you are unsure. 


Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic strongly advises that, as a minimum, all horses, ponies and donkeys are vaccinated for tetanus and Influenza, please have a look at our information sheets on the website for further information.

Complaints and Standards

We always aim to provide the very best service to all our clients and hope that you never have recourse to complain about the standards of service received from Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic. However, there may be a specific problem which you wish to discuss or an area where you feel we could improve our service to you.

It is practice policy to ensure that all complaints are dealt with swiftly. A complaint is considered to be any form of verbal or written correspondence from a client (or other interested party), claiming dissatisfaction with respect to a member of staff or the overall service provided by the practice.

Written complaints may be send to Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic, Birds Lane, Framsden, Suffolk IP14 6HR or by email to Verbal complaints may be made by telephone to 01728 685123 or in person to any member of staff.

If a complaint is received by any member of staff other than Helen Whitbread, the complaint will be immediately forwarded to Helen Whitbread who will take overall responsibility for investigating and responding to the complaint. We aim to acknowledge all complaints within 24 hours, and to investigate and respond to all complaints within 10 working days. Where it is not possible to fully respond to a complaint within 10 working days, for example if an investigation has not been fully completed within that time, we aim to provide progress reports giving an indication of when a full reply will be given.

Complaints are reviewed individually and annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action. The overall responsibility for any complaint falls to Helen Whitbread.

Ownership of Radiographs and Other Records

The care given to your animal may involve making some specific investigations, for example taking radiographs, ECG, scoping or performing ultrasound scans. Even though we make a charge for carrying out these investigations and interpreting their results, ownership of the resulting record, for example a radiograph, remains with Deben Valley Equine Veterinary Clinic. Copies, with a summary of the clinical history, will be passed on by request to another veterinary surgeon taking over the case once all outstanding fees have been settled.

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