At The Meopham Veterinary Hospital, Sevenoaks, Swanscombe and Tonbridge Surgeries and Pride & Groom, we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and appreciate our responsibility in handling your information when you register with us. By following the Code of Professional Conduct from our professional regulatory body the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and complying with GDPR, we provide high levels of confidentiality.

Privacy Policy

At The Meopham Veterinary Hospital, Sevenoaks and Swanscombe Surgeries and Pride & Groom, we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy, and appreciate our responsibility in handling your information when you register with us. By following the Code of Professional Conduct from our professional regulatory body the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and complying with GDPR, we provide high levels of confidentiality.

This policy sets out the basis for how we collect, use and store your personal data, and how it is processed by us. For any further information on this policy or if you have any questions please contact us on or call us on 01474 815333.

Legal bases for processing your data

When registering with the practice, you are entering a contract with the practice to provide healthcare services to your animals. In order to provide these services, we will process your data in order to inform you of any preventative healthcare treatment which is due for your pet.

Processing your data to pursue legitimate interests

These interests include: improvements to veterinary services and practice websites, personalisation of services, updating of contact details, enhancement and improvements to client services and out of hours care, providing reunification/microchip service, marketing of services, client communication and for completion of services requested by clients and customers. We may also use anonymised data for statistical and analytical purposes as well as providing a basis for evidenced based veterinary medicine.

Will your data be given to third parties?

The Meopham Veterinary Hospital, Sevenoaks and Swanscombe Surgeries will only pass on your personal data under these specific circumstances;

  • When obligated by law, for instance in case of a lawful request by law enforcement authorities;
  • Where a third party is engaged to deliver a service on behalf of the practice, or a customer or client and the third parties have a data processing agreement with the practice. This includes its IT and service providers AT Veterinary Systems Limited and Central Veterinary Services Limited.
  • Where a person or persons requests or consents to their personal data being given to a third party.

How we collect your personal information, what information we collect and why

  • Register your details as a client or to update any details that may have changed
  • To make appointments
  • Sending your information to another practice if you move surgeries
  • Sending your information to your pet insurance company to help settle any claim that you have being processed
  • Register your pet on a health plan with the practices
  • To process any fees due for any treatment received, and to contact you with regards to your account or credit status
  • To contact you with regards to any test results and treatment updates on your pet
  • To contact you to obtain consent for treatment of your pet
  • To obtain any missing information from you if you have registered with the practices online
  • Process any orders that have been submitted by you
  • To seek your feedback and views on any of the services we have provided to you
  • Deliver a safe and secure service, ensuring any fraud is detected and prevented
  • To respond to any queries or complaints received from you
  • Disclose information to assist legal or debt recovery processes where required
  • Notify you of changes to our services or opening times
  • Send you information which you have requested, that may be of interest to you
  • To support any information provided on your pet for lab samples sent off
  • For postal services if we need to communicate with you and are unable to contact you otherwise
  • To better understand how people interact with our website in order to enhance your experience
  • Your image and car registration number may be recorded on our CCTV

Where we store your personal data and how long we store this for

Your personal data is stored within our practice management system for the processes of booking appointments, keeping clinical records for your pet and to provide any other service to you. This information is available for the benefit of patient care and transferring any records where necessary.

We are legally required to hold certain information in order to fulfil our statutory obligations, such as our Pet Health Plan direct debit management company. Other information and data that is no longer required will be deleted, although some data may be archived or kept to meet legislative requirements.

Your data may be transferred to countries outside the European Union (“EU”). This may happen if any of our servers are located in a country outside of the EU, such as laboratories for specific tests. If we transfer your information outside of the EU in this way, we will take steps to ensure that appropriate security measures are taken with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this Policy. By submitting your personal data, you’re agreeing to this transfer, storing or processing.

Disclosure of your information

The Meopham Veterinary Hospital, Sevenoaks and Swanscombe Surgeries, and Pride & Groom will not sell or rent any of your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes.

We may pass your information to our third-party service providers for the purposes of providing services to you (for example to send you appointment reminders, or to sign your pet on to a Pet Health Plan). When we do use third party service providers, we will only disclose personal information that is absolutely necessary to deliver the service to you, and we have a contract in place that requires them to keep your information secure and not to use it for their own direct marketing purposes. We will not release your information to third parties unless you have requested us to do so, or we are required to do so by law, for example, by a court order or for the purposes of prevention of fraud or other crime.

We cannot be held responsible for the privacy policies held by other sites that link to our website nor any that our website links to. We would recommend that you check the privacy policy for any third party company or organisation.

Your rights

You have the right to ask us not to process your data

You have the right to opt in to certain material you may like to receive from us such as Newsletters. We will only send these materials if you have given consent to receive them.

You have the right to access any data we hold on you. You also have the right to request for this data to be moved to another surgery. We will only do this with your permission.

You have the right to opt out of receiving vaccination reminders for your pet at any time.

You have the right to have your information edited or amended where needed in order to keep your information up to date and relevant.

You have the right to change your consent preferences with regards to the information you receive from us at any time.

You have the right to contact the ICO if you feel that we are in any way mishandling or not protecting your data efficiently.

Changes to our privacy policy

Any changes to our privacy policy will be published on this page. If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact the surgery

Last updated 23.5.2018

Retention Schedule and destruction of clinical records

The Meopham Veterinary Hospital, Sevenoaks and Swanscombe Surgeries, and Pride & Groom store your data until we receive and approve a request to anonymise it, we do not have an automated archive of data system. All electronic records since March 1998 are available on our practice management system.  These are backed up and stored securely.

After a period of 7 years after the last data entry on your record you have the right to request for your personal details held with us to be anonymised (so that it can no longer be associated with you). Examples of when an individual would be able to request the deletion or removal of his/her personal data are (i) it is no longer necessary to retain the data for the purpose for which it was collected; (ii) the individual withdraws consent on which the processing was based and there are no other legal grounds for storage; (iii) the individual objects to the storage and there are no overriding legitimate grounds for retaining the data; or (iv) the data has been collected unlawfully. The practice does not have to delete the data if it needs to keep it to comply with a legal obligation or to defend a legal claim. The request for this would need to be received in writing by the practice manager and may take 48hours to action.

Paper insurance forms, pet health plan direct debit forms, inpatient and anaesthetic monitoring forms, consent forms, cremation forms, laboratory submission forms, photocopies of pet passports and associated supporting documents are destroyed after 7 years.

Facebook and Instagram data (e.g. comments, likes and posts) are maintained indefinitely by Facebook in accordance with their Data Retention Policy (outwith our control – a Request for Erasure must be directed to Facebook or Instagram as they are the Data Controller of record for this information).

Reviews on our website, comments on our blogs and uploaded photographs will be stored until the practice deems they are no longer required. This may be in line with updates to the website and it’s associated blogs and links.  You have the right to request the information noted above is deleted by requesting this in writing to the practice manager.

Last updated 22.10.20