Privacy

The Mewes Vets Ltd Privacy Policy for clients

Protecting your Privacy

1. Introduction

At The Mewes Vets Ltd, we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Notice explains in detail the types of personal data we may collect about you when you interact with us. It also explains how we’ll store and handle that data, and keep it safe.

We are aware that there’s a lot of information here but we want you to be fully informed about your rights, and how The Mewes Vets Ltd uses your data.

For example, this Notice will explain things such as our reasons for processing your data, and how you can unsubscribe.

We hope the following sections will answer any questions you have but if not, please do  email us on privacy@themewesvets.co.uk, or phone us on 01444 456886.

It’s likely that we’ll need to update this Privacy Notice from time to time. We’ll notify you of any significant changes, but you’re welcome to come back and check it again whenever you wish.

2. Who are The Mewes Vets Ltd?

The Mewes Vets Ltd is an independent veterinary clinic which serves the health care needs of pets in Haywards Heath and the surrounding area. We are not associated with or owned by any other business or clinic. Our Director is Dr J. Mewes MRCVS.

For simplicity in this notice, the terms ‘we’ and ‘us’ are used to refer to The Mewes Vets Ltd, and its team members.

3. What is the legal Basis we hold your data for? 

The General Data Protection Regulations set out some different reasons whereby we may collect and process your personal data including:

Consent

We can collect and process your data in specific situations, with your consent. For example, when you tick a box to receive promotional material.

When collecting your personal data, we will always make it clear to you what data we are collecting for which purpose.

Contractual obligations

In certain situations, we need your personal data to comply with our contractual obligations.

For example, we need your personal data in order to request your pet’s previous medical history from your previous veterinary clinic, when you register with us.

Legal Compliance

If required to by law, we may need to collect and process your data, if, for example, we suspect fraud or a criminal activity may have occurred.

Legitimate interest

As a registered client, you have entrusted the health care of your pet to The Mewes Vets Ltd. We will use your personal data reasonably for this purpose, and for the purpose of running the business and improving our customer service.

For example to send you reminders when your pet’s vaccinations are due.

This does not materially impact your rights, freedom or interests.

4. How did we acquire your personal data? 

  • When you first registered with us as your pet’s veterinary clinic, either online via our website, by phone or in person.
  • When you purchase a product at the Clinic, but have not used our services as a Veterinary clinic.
  • When you engage with us on social media. 
  • When you contact us by any means with queries, complaints etc.
  • When you enter prize draws or competitions.
  • When you book any kind of appointment with us or book to attend an event, for example a class at our Pet First Aid course.
  • When you choose to complete any surveys we send you.
  • When you comment on or review our products and services. 
  • When you fill in any forms. For example, if an accident happens in store, a team member may collect your personal data. 
  • When you’ve given a third party permission to share with us the information they hold about you, eg a veterinary surgeon seeking a second opinion from us, or when you change vets.

5. What sort of personal data do we hold about you?

As a client or former client of The Mewes Vets Ltd we hold the following information about you:

  • Your name, address, email addresses, telephone and mobile numbers, financial information.
  • Previous veterinary clinics you have been registered with. 
  • Membership with our Pet Care Plan, and details of payments received etc. A copy of your direct debit set up with Premier Vet Alliance, including your bank details and signature. 
  • All interactions between yourself and the Clinic, in person, by phone, by email, by SMS text and by post.
  • Details of your visits to our website, and webshop.
  • Your comments, reviews and thank you cards. 
  • Only with your permission, your image or that of your pet, either at the Clinic, or at an event or course.
  • Your social media username, if you interact with us through those channels, to help us respond to your comments, questions or feedback.
  • Only with your specific permission, details of a medical condition or learning learning disability that we need in order to communicate with you effectively. 
  • Your pet’s information, which may individually identify you, will include its name, gender, date of birth, species, breed, colour, microchip and/or tattoo details, temperament, weight, target weight, membership of our Pet Care Plan, insurance details, vaccination details, and its full medical history.

6. How and why do we use your personal data?

We retain the minimum information about you as is required to identify your pets, manage their medical health care and conduct the business of a veterinary clinic.

The data privacy law allows this as part of our legitimate interest in identifying and providing the highest levels of service to you and your pet. 

Of course, if you wish to change how we use your data, within the legal and ethical requirements we work under as professionals, you will find details on how to do this below at no. 13.

However, if you choose not to share your personal data with us, or refuse certain contact permissions, we might not be able to keep you informed in situations where your pet’s health is at risk.

How we will use your personal data and why:

  • To respond to your queries, book appointments, arrange repeat prescription requests, take payments, report laboratory test results, update you on your pet’s progress whilst in hospital, manage refund requests and deal with complaints. We will keep a record of these and all interactions so that we can demonstrate how we communicated with you throughout. We do this on the basis of our contractual obligations to you, our legal and professional obligations and our legitimate interests in providing you with the best service and understanding how we can improve our service based on your experience.
  • To protect our Clinic and you from fraud and other illegal activities.
  • To process payments and prevent fraudulent transactions. We do this on the basis of our legitimate business interests.
  • To protect you, should we discover any criminal activity through our fraud monitoring we will process this data for the purpose of preventing or detecting any unlawful act. 
  • With your consent, we will use your personal data to keep you informed by email, web, text, post or telephone about relevant pet - related products and services including tailored special offers, discounts, promotions, events, competitions and so on. You are free to opt out of hearing from us at any time. For details on how to do this, see below at no. 13.
  • To administer any of our prize draws or competitions which you enter, based on your consent given at the time of entering.
  • To develop, test and improve the systems, services and products we provide to you. We’ll do this on the basis of our legitimate business interests.
  • We will send you communications required by law or which are necessary to inform you about our changes to the services we provide you. For example, updates to this Privacy Notice, product recall notices, and legally required information relating to your pet. These service messages will not include any promotional content and do not require prior consent when sent by email or text message. If we do not use your personal data for these purposes, we would be unable to comply with our legal and professional obligations.
  • To send you feedback requests and surveys to help improve our services. These messages will not contain any promotional content and so do not require your prior consent when sent by email or SMS text message. This helps to improve our customer service, and our legal basis for doing this is our legitimate business interest. You are free to opt out of receiving these requests at any time. See below for details.
  • To inform our business decision we will use your data to build a picture of who you are and what your pet requires in its healthcare. Our legal basis for doing this is our legitimate business interest.
  • The Mewes Vets Ltd does not use any computer algorithms to process your data. 
  • The Mewes Vets Ltd will not sell your personal data to any other business, except in the case of part or the whole of the Clinic itself being sold.

7. Keeping you informed by direct marketing

You have entrusted us with your pet’s health. In order to keep you informed about changes that may affect your pet’s health we will stay in touch by email, SMS, mail or telephone in order to fulfil that obligation. It is a requirement of our governing body the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Practice Standards Scheme that  we have a means to do this, for instance in the event of a breakout of an infectious condition that might affect your pet. *

We need to ensure you are happy in the way in which we communicate with you. We have 2 different categories that form the basis of our client communications so we can be very specific in what we do and don’t send you. 

Legitimate Business Interests

  • Vaccine Reminders
  • Parasite Treatment Reminders
  • Appointment Reminders
  • Health Check Reminders
  • Reviews and Surveys
  • Information about serious health changes relevant to your pet in this area.

We deem these categories as ‘legitimate business interests’. This means we think they are critical for us to provide you and your pet the best possible healthcare service.

Marketing Categories

  • Practice/Pet Care Advice
  • Offers and Promotions

These ‘marketing categories' keep you up to date with offers and promotions relating to your pet and the practice.

For each of the above you can choose to be contacted by text/SMS, email or letter (or a combination of all three) or not contacted at all.

To review your communication preferences see no. 13 below. If at any point you change your mind in the future, we can change them again as required. 

8. How we protect your personal data  

We understand how important data security is to you and all our customers. We will treat your data carefully and take all appropriate steps to protect it.

We have taken and continue to take advice on data security from local firm, South East Business Systems Ltd of Haywards Heath. 

Access to your personal data is password-protected, and sensitive data (for example card payment information) is secured and tokenised to ensure its protection. *

Our intention is to regularly test our systems for vulnerability to attack, and constantly improve our security measures.

* We are still checking where exactly your data is processed by our credit card company.

9. How long we keep your personal data 

Our Retention Policy is guided by the Veterinary Defence Society. We will retain your personal data for seven years after you no longer are a client of The Mewes Vets Ltd. 

At the end of this period your data will be deleted completely or anonymised with other data so that it can be used for business planning and statistical analysis.

Inactive accounts.

If we have not seen any of your pets for seven years, we will contact you using the contact details you have previously given us. Unless you answer specifically opting-in within one calendar month, we will delete or anonymise your data.

10. Who do we share your personal data with?

We sometimes share your personal data with trusted third parties. 

For example, to manage our Pet Care Plans, to communicate with you about relevant pet information, to assist with your insurance claims, to register or check your pet’s microchip, to analyse data, and to request a second opinion. 

Here’s the policy we apply to those organisations to keep your data safe and protect your privacy: 

  • We provide only the information they need to perform their specific services.
  • They may only use your data for the exact purposes we specify in our contract with them.
  • We work closely with them to ensure that your privacy is respected and protected at all times.
  • If we stop using their services, any of your data held by them will either be deleted or rendered anonymous.

Examples of the kind of third parties we work with are:

  • Premier Vet Alliance to collect monthly Direct Debits, according to your written instructions, to pay for your pet’s Pet Care Plan.
  • Your insurance company, should they request further information other than that presented on the claim form. Once you submit an insurance  claim form to us, we will assume that we have your permission to answer queries from your insurance company relating to that particular claim. Please note that it is usual policy for insurers to request the complete medical history for the relevant pet. 
  • Our practice management system, Animana, which retains all your pet’s clinical records and allows us to send you important reminders and information.
  • Referral hospitals and the Pets Emergency Service to support your pet should they need a second opinion or emergency care outside our opening hours.
  • Microchip companies to check or register your pet’s microchip details. 
  • Veterinary Laboratories in order to identify samples that require analysis.
  • IT data analysis company, Vet Viewer, who anonymise your data and allow us to benchmark our business against other Vets.

Sharing your data with third parties for their own purposes:

We will only do this in very specific circumstances, for example:

  • For fraud management, we may share information about fraudulent or potentially fraudulent activity in our premises or systems. This may include sharing data about individuals with law enforcement bodies.
  • We may also be required to disclose your personal data to the police or other enforcement, regulatory or Government body upon a valid request to do so. These requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis and take the privacy of our customers into consideration.
  • We may, from time to time, expand, reduce or sell the Clinic. If this happens, your personal data will, where relevant, be transferred to the new owner or controlling party, under the terms of this Privacy Notice.
  • For further information please contact our Director, Dr J Mewes MRCVS.

We currently use the following companies who may process your personal data as part of their contracts with us:

  • Animana
  • Premier Vet Alliance
  • Various Pet Insurance companies
  • Various Microchip companies
  • Various Veterinary Referral centres, Hospitals and the Pets Emergency service
  • Vetinflow who write and circulate our regular newsletters according to the RCVS Practice Standards Scheme requirements
  • The Veterinary Defence Society, who deal with complaints on our behalf
  • Vet Viewer, who anonymise your data and allow us to benchmark our business against other Vets.
  • Credit card machine device  *
  • Agfa radiography processor *
  • Scanner/printer devices *
  • Google Analytics *
  • Dropbox *
  • Facebook * 
  • Twitter *
  • Pinterest *
  • Instagram *
  • YouTube *

We are still checking where exactly your data is processed by these companies.

11. Where might your personal data be processed?

At this time, we are not aware that any of your data is being processed outside of the EU. The process of checking this with all our data processors is ongoing, and this policy will be kept updated accordingly. However, it is the policy of The Mewes Vets Ltd to restrict all our data processing to within the EU in order to ensure your data is protected to the same standards that we subscribe to. 

12. Your rights over your own personal data

Your different rights:

You have the right to request:

  • Access to the personal data we hold about you. We may, in certain circumstances, make a charge of £10 + VAT  for this data to be collected for you.
  • The correction of your personal data when incorrect, out of date or incomplete.
  • That we stop using your personal data for direct marketing (either through specific channels, or all channels).
  • That we stop any consent-based processing of your personal data after you withdraw that consent.

You can contact us to request to exercise these rights at any time as follows: 

  • Phone a member of our team on 01444 456886.
  • Write to The Mewes Vets Ltd at 4 Haywards Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 5HT
  • Email us at privacy@themewesvets.co.uk 

You will then be contacted by Dr J Mewes MRCVS as per our Subject Access Request Protocol.

You have the right to withdraw consent

If you have previously given your consent for us to use your personal data, you still retain the right to withdraw that consent at any time. Simply contact us on the above contact method, and we will amend your preferences.

We rely on our legitimate interest

Whilst caring for your pets, we use your personal data, relying on ‘legitimate interest’ as our legal basis to use your personal information. By trusting us with your pets’ care you also entrust us with your personal data. 

Direct marketing

You have the right to stop us using your personal data for direct marketing activity through all channels, or selected channels. We must always comply with your request.

Checking your identity

To protect the confidentiality of your information, we will ask you to verify your identity before proceeding with any request you make under this Privacy Notice. 

If you have authorised a third party to submit a request on your behalf, we will ask them to provide written confirmation that  they have your permission to act.

13. How to stop receiving direct marketing

We differentiate between messages that we consider vital to your pet’s health and wellbeing, such as vaccination and appointment reminders, and direct marketing messages about charity fundraising, events, competitions, information about emerging diseases and new treatments. Please be aware that if you unsubscribe from our direct marketing we will be unable to inform you about new risks in our area.

But it is easy for you to stop receiving direct marketing communications from us:

  • Click the unsubscribe link on any email that you receive from us. 
  • Phone a member of our team on 01444 456886.
  • Write to The Mewes Vets Ltd at 4 Haywards Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 5HT
  • Email us at privacy@themewesvets.co.uk 

Please be aware that you may continue to receive messages from us for a short period after changing your preferences until our systems are fully updated.

14. How to contact the personal data regulator

Should you feel that your personal data has not been handled correctly, or you are unhappy with our response to a request you may have made to us about your personal data, then you have the right to lodge a complaint with the 

ICO: the Information Commissioner’s Office on 0303 123 1113.

Or visit their website at ico.org.uk/concerns 

15. Further information

We hope that this Privacy Notice has been helpful in explaining the way that we handle your personal data and your right to control it.

If you still have any questions, feel free to contact our Director Dr Julia Mewes MRCVS on privacy@themewesvets.co.uk or write to her at 

The Mewes Vets Ltd
4 Haywards Road
Haywards Heath
West Sussex RH16 5HT

This notice was last updated on 16.5.18