Client Service Agreement: Introduction

Hi there and welcome! Thank you for taking the time to look at my Client Service Agreement. My name is Karla Rawles trading as Balanced Whole (ABN 84356605154) and I provide naturopathic consultations from my clinics in Newstead and Kyneton Victoria and online via Zoom. I’m a degree-qualified naturopath who wants to help you find or rediscover your unique health balance. I work with you to resolve niggling symptoms that are stopping you living life to the full.

My naturopathic services are for people who are interested in improving their health and are motivated to make changes to their lifestyle and diet. I work with you to make small, incremental and sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, and we can move as slowly as you like. But if you are not ready for change or have significant emotional challenges which are affecting your ability to enact change, I am happy to help you identify and accept this is where you are at and recommend another practitioner who can help you work through this.

It’s important to understand that naturopathy is a holistic approach to health. This means there’s no magic bullet, no single pill or potion I can give you to resolve your symptoms overnight. A state of optimal health can take months or even years to create and maintain and it does require some hard work, commitment and willingness to change on your part. I am here to help you achieve this, but your health is your responsibility, so it’s ultimately up to you if you take on board and enact the advice I provide.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact:

Karla Rawles
17 Codrington St, Newstead, Victoria, 3462
karla@balancedwhole.com.au
0404 516 008

You can find out more about my services on my website.

This document sets out the Terms and Conditions you need to be aware of when purchasing my services. Please take time to read this document carefully as it sets out your important rights and obligations. I care about making sure we both know where we stand. When you use my services, you agree that you are over the age of 18 and willing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you don’t accept this agreement, you should notify me immediately so we can discuss your concerns. If you are under 18, you agree that your parent or guardian has full knowledge and permission for you to make a booking, will be present at all consultations, and that they are responsible for any purchases made on your behalf.

My services are offered in compliance with Australian Consumer Law.

Disclaimer

This disclaimer relates to Naturopathic Consultations provided by Karla Rawles trading as Balanced Whole. Naturopathy is a form of complementary health care, which incorporates nutritional and herbal medicine, lifestyle and dietary advice, for assistance with many health conditions including digestive issues, immune support, women’s health, men’s health, skin problems, stress and anxiety.

MY RESPONSIBILITY

I hold a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) from Southern School of Natural Therapies. This is a rigorous, four year science degree which teaches a comprehensive understanding of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathophysiology, pharmacology, herbal and nutritional medicine. I am a full member of Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA) and Naturopaths & Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA). These memberships require me to complete at least 20 hours of professional development each year to ensure I am updating my skills and remain abreast of the latest scientific research.

My clinical approach involves researching each client’s specific case and then making recommendations which are personalised to their unique situation. I check interactions with any existing medications or supplements prior to prescribing them. I only recommend remedies which are widely regarded as safe and effective, based on a combination of scientific evidence, clinical experience and traditional knowledge.

PROBLEMS

My approach to working with you involves open communication and establishing trust. I welcome you to ask me any questions about the treatment process and am open to receiving constructive feedback about your experience.

As a naturopath, I am dedicated to enhancing your whole health and wellbeing. However, there are times when the services you need for healing are outside of my scope of practice. In these cases I will refer you to a suitable practitioner, such as a GP, counsellor, psychologist, massage therapist, physiotherapist or osteopath. I will talk to you about this if the situation arises and recommend other health professionals who can help you further.

If you are in a high risk situation, for example have received a serious medical diagnosis or are terminally ill, I may insist on other health professionals being involved in your care for safety reasons. Similarly, if you are looking to become pregnant, are pregnant, or have experienced pregnancy loss, I will recommend you seek the assistance of other medical practitioners in addition to my services.

SUITABILITY

My naturopathic services are for people who are interested in improving their health and are motivated to make changes to their lifestyle and diet. I work with you to make small, incremental and sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle, and we can move as slowly as you like. But if you are not ready for change or have significant emotional challenges which are affecting your ability to enact change, I am happy to help you identify and accept this is where you are at and recommend another practitioner who can help you work through this.

RESULTS

When writing your treatment plan, I will outline an expected timeframe in which you are likely to achieve your treatment goals, however, this outcome depends on many factors including your compliance with recommended treatment. It is also important to understand that everyone is unique and will respond to treatment differently, due to variance in genetics, environment, diet and lifestyle. Therefore it is not possible to make any treatment or timeline guarantees with regards to your clinical outcomes.

Your responsibilities

I will always strive to provide you with the best naturopathic care possible. However, if you do not provide me with accurate information about your health, I may not be able to offer you the most appropriate treatment for your condition and therefore you may not see the results you desire. You must provide me with full and accurate information about your diagnosed medical conditions, medications or supplements, known allergies and intolerances, so I can ensure safety of treatment and check for pharmacological interactions with any herbs or nutrients I prescribe.

Limitation of liability

You agree to indemnify me (hold me blameless) for any injury or illness that you might suffer or any damage or loss that might occur while we are working together. If you have any doubts at all about any issue that might arise, you agree that you will conduct your own research and make your own fully informed decision about what is best for you.

In no event shall I be liable to you for costs, loss or damage of any kind arising out of or related to this Agreement or the services provided in relation to it. If this clause is unenforceable for any reason, my total cumulative liability for all causes of action of any kind shall not exceed the total amount you have paid me for my services.

Intellectual property

COPYRIGHT

The treatment plan, recipes, materials and resources I provide to you are protected by copyright. They are for your personal use only and may not be copied or shared in any way without my written consent.

Confidentiality

COLLECTION OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

I may collect your personal and sensitive information by various means including:

  • through my client intake form
  • when you book an appointment with me
  • when you send me a question or enquiry via email 
  • if you send me test results, or other information relevant to your health history
  • during a telephone, face to face or online consultation

The sensitive information I ask you to provide may include:

  • your birth date, information about your medical history, family history,  allergies and intolerances, current medications, supplements and diagnosed health conditions, so I can provide you with a safe and effective naturopathic service.
  • information about the food and fluids you consume, as well as dietary and lifestyle preferences or habits, in order to understand factors influencing your health, and enable realistic and appropriate dietary and lifestyle recommendations as part of your treatment plan.
  • information about your physical wellbeing, such as blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, weight, height, nail, tongue or iris data, to further inform my naturopathic understanding of your case, your treatment plan and ensure safety.
  • we may discuss your emotional wellbeing at the consultation, in which case I may record some of the emotions you’re experiencing, to help track your progress and identify most appropriate treatment options, including any referrals.

I am committed to securely storing and handling your sensitive information. Your information will be stored securely and kept completely confidential. It will not be shared with anyone or ever used for marketing. For further information, please refer to my Privacy Policy.

You may choose not to provide me with your personal information. However,

  • if you do not provide me with accurate information about your health, I may not be able to offer you the most appropriate treatment for your condition and therefore you may not see the results you desire.
  • you must provide me with full and accurate information about your diagnosed medical conditions, medications or supplements, known allergies and intolerances, so I can ensure safety of treatment and check for pharmacological interactions with any herbs or nutrients I prescribe.

Payment terms

FORMS OF PAYMENT

Payment can be made at the time of booking or at the end of your consultation. If you make an booking through my website you may be prompted to pay in advance. I accept payment via cash or credit card for payments due during the consultation. In some cases I may accept payment via direct bank deposit.

SECURITY POLICY

If you pay for your consultation in advance through my booking system (Acuity) and enter your credit card details for payment, Acuity will store your card details. This is Acuity’s privacy policy. If you pay at the end of your consultation, I use a Square card reader to process credit card payments. This is Square’s privacy policy.

PAYMENT PLANS

At this stage I do not offer payment plans. Please contact me if finances are your main barrier to booking an appointment and I will try to work with you to find a solution.

CURRENCY & GST

All amounts quoted and charged are in Australian dollars. I am registered for GST and therefore GST is charged on dispensary items I prescribe. My consultations are GST-free.

Delivery of services

DELIVERY

Consultations take place at my Newstead or Kyneton clinic, or online via Zoom.

Newstead clinic

Located at 17 Codrington Street, Newstead, Victoria, 3462. Consultations are strictly by appointment only. There is no drop in service available. Please arrive a few minutes prior to your appointment start time and wait under the carport (bench provided) or in your car until I come and collect you. Please do not knock on the door, as I may be finishing a consultation with a previous client. This is a private property so please do not wander around the garden. You may hear a dog barking, but he will be contained on the other side of the house for the duration of the consultation.

It is important you notify me of any animal dander allergies prior to the appointment, as we have other pets in the house. While they are strictly banned from the consultation room, it is possible their dander could be present in the hallway or other areas you come into contact with. If your allergy is severe, I suggest booking a consultation to take place at your home or online.

Kyneton clinic

Located at 59 Mollison St, Kyneton, Victoria, 3444. Consultations are strictly by appointment only. There is no drop in service available. Please arrive a few minutes prior to your appointment start time. Entry is via the door on Simpson Street. If possible, please wait outside the building until called inside for your appointment. Please sanitise hands on entry.

Online consultations

Zoom (similar to Skype) is my preferred method of conducting naturopathic consultations online. I will email you a link to access the Zoom meeting shortly after you make the appointment. You may need to download some software in order to access the meeting or just open the link in your browser. I recommend clicking on the link provided a few minutes ahead of the appointment start time. If there are technical difficulties at your end, this is included in your consultation time. If we cannot resolve the technical issues, I will call you on the telephone to make the best use of time. If there are technical difficulties which are at my end, I will endeavour to give you the full length of scheduled consultation time.

Initial consultations

Ahead of all initial consultations, I will ask you to answer some initial Client Intake questions either via my booking system when making your appointment through my website, or via email. This ensures we are on the same page for the first consultation and can make the best use of time. The form asks for details such as your name, contact details, date of birth, allergies and diagnosed medical conditions. It also asks you to briefly summarise why you want to see a naturopath and what you hope to get from the first consultation. This information is important for me to plan the consultation, make the best use of the time we have together and ensure relevant information is to hand.

If I need to cancel or reschedule your appointment I will endeavour to let you know at least 48 hours ahead of the consultation.

MISSED SESSIONS

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please give 24 hours’ notice via email or telephone call. If you find yourself unexpectedly unwell on the day of your consult, please contact me as soon as possible to reschedule.

Please note that a cancellation policy applies to last minute cancellations and no shows. No shows are charged 100% of the consultation fee. Last minute cancellations (less than 24 hours’ notice) are charged 50% of the consultation fee, at my discretion. If you don’t show up or cancel your appointment at the last minute, I will request pre-payment of future consultations. Please contact me to discuss your individual circumstances.

Refund policy

CHANGE OF MIND

Payment is required via credit card or cash either at the point of booking, or at the end of each consultation (see Payment Terms above). At your request, I can issue you a Tax Invoice/Receipt via email after the consultation. Following a consultation, there is no refund for change of mind, but if you are unhappy with the consultation or it has not met your expectations, then please contact me to discuss.

Refunds are available if you have booked and paid for your consultation in advance and wish to cancel your booking, but you must give 48 hours’ notice, ahead of your scheduled appointment time. I will arrange a refund either back on to the card by which you paid, or directly into your bank account.

Consumer guarantees

MINOR PROBLEM

Should a minor problem occur, I will endeavour to find a solution and resolve this issue as soon as practical.

Problems with dispensed items (herbs/supplements), including:

  • incorrect product sent by third party supplement company
  • issue with the product sent by third party company
  • damage occurred to product during transit

In the above cases, I will follow up with the company in question on your behalf and aim to resolve the issue and arrange a replacement product within 5 business days, if possible.

Technical problems, including:

  • issues with opening/downloading a PDF information sheet or treatment plan
  • issues with email communication

Please notify me of the technical issue via email as soon as possible, as I may not be aware of your difficulties. I will aim to resolve the issue within 48 hours.

Problems with consultations, including:

Sickness on the day of a consultation

If I am unwell and am unable to conduct your consultation, I will aim to give you 24 hours’ notice, but when this is not possible, I ask for your understanding in me letting you know on the morning of the consultation. I will call or text you as appropriate.

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please give 24 hours’ notice via email or telephone call. If you find yourself unexpectedly unwell on the day of your consult, please contact me as soon as possible to reschedule.

Cancellation policy

Please note that a cancellation policy applies to last minute cancellations and no shows. No shows are charged 100% of the consultation fee. Last minute cancellations (less than 24 hours’ notice) are charged 50% of the consultation fee, at my discretion. If you don’t show up or cancel your appointment at the last minute, I will request pre-payment of future consultations.

Internet issues or power outage during an online consultation

In the instance of technical issues during an online consultation, I will attempt to call you on the phone number you have provided in order to continue the consultation. If this is not possible, I will reschedule the consultation to a time convenient for us both.

Road traffic event

If there is a road traffic event which means I am running late for your mobile consultation, I will call you to advise of this as soon as practical. We may need to reschedule your appointment, depending on the circumstances. If you are running late due to a road traffic event, please call as soon as it is safe to do so and advise your expected arrival time. Depending on other bookings that day, we may need to reschedule your appointment.

Bushfire

The Newstead and Kyneton clinics and mobile service operate in a fire-prone area, so the following conditions apply.

Severe days

Clinic consultations continue as normal, but with high vigilance for fire. My mobile phone alerts will be turned on during the consultation.

In the event of a fire in the vicinity, we may need to cease the consultation and depending on the circumstances, you may be able to safely drive home, or else agree to comply with our fire plan.

Extreme days

Kyneton clinic consultations will be rescheduled or offered as online consultations. Newstead clinic consultations continue as normal, but with high vigilance for fire. My mobile phone alerts will be turned on during the consultation. All mobile consultations will be rescheduled to a lower risk day.

In the event of a fire in the vicinity, we may need to cease the consultation and depending on the circumstances, you may be able to safely drive home, or else agree to comply with our fire plan.

Code red days

All naturopathic consultations will be rescheduled. I will contact you the day before to arrange this with you. Do not visit me at the Newstead or Kyneton clinic on a code red day.

MAJOR PROBLEM

Allergic reaction

It is your responsibility to notify me of any allergies, intolerances or reactions you have experienced previously prior to the initial consultation. If you are experiencing life threatening symptoms (e.g. anaphylaxis) you must call 000 immediately. If you experience an unexpected allergic reaction to a product I have prescribed, you must notify me straight away. Once I am notified of the reaction, I will contact the relevant supplement company within 24 hours and notify them of your reaction. I will complete documentation including a Blue Card for the Therapeutic Goods Administration. I will need to gather detailed information from you regarding your reaction to report the situation fully. You will need to confirm how, when and with what you took the prescribed product and whether there are other factors not previously disclosed which could have contributed to the reaction.

In these rare circumstances, I will endeavour to find a financially agreeable solution for you. The supplement company in question may offer a refund of the item, in which case I will be able to refund you in full. These situations are very rare, so will be handled on a case by case basis.

Achieving expected results

When writing your treatment plan, I will outline an expected timeframe in which you are likely to achieve your treatment goals, however this outcome depends on many factors including your compliance with recommended treatment. It is also important to understand that everyone is unique and will respond to treatment different, due to variances in genetics, environment, diet and lifestyle. Therefore it is not possible to make any treatment or timeline guarantees with regards to your clinical outcomes.

Jurisdiction & dispute resolution

JURISDICTION

Balanced Whole is located in Victoria. This agreement is subject to the governing law of Victoria.

NEGOTIATION

If you have any issue or complaints arising out of your use of this website or these terms and conditions, you and Balanced Whole agree to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute through negotiation and discussion.

MEDIATION

If we are unable to resolve a dispute by negotiation and discussion within 14 days, the parties must proceed to mediation with the assistance of an accredited mediator who is independent of the parties. The mediator is to be appointed by agreement of the parties or, failing agreement within twenty-one (21) days of the first notification of the dispute, by a person appointed by the Chair of Resolution Institute, (ACN 008 651 232, Level 2, 13-15 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW 2000; telephone: 02 9251 3366, email: infoaus@resolution.institute) or the Chair’s designated representative. The Resolution Institute Mediation Rules shall apply to the mediation. We agree to share the costs of mediation equally between us.

LITIGATION

It is a condition precedent to the right of either party to commence litigation other than for interlocutory relief that it has first offered to submit the dispute to mediation. Litigation is to be considered a last resort and may not be commenced until, in the opinion of the independent mediator, the potential for negotiation and mediation have been exhausted.