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  • Writer's pictureThe Woodbridge Vets

Why Choose An Independent Vet Practice

There are generally two different models when it comes to veterinary practices in the UK, the independents, and the corporates.

All Vets will have your pet’s best interest at heart, whether they work within an independent or corporate owned vet practice. Although, the framework in which they work may impact the type of care your pet receives.

Over the last decade, the UK has seen a huge shift with clinics being sold to corporates. A ‘corporate’ is a large corporation, with multiple sites located across the entire UK.

These corporations have a board of directors, and often many shareholders, location managers and appointed vets in assigned surgeries. Sometimes, from the outside, it may be difficult to tell them apart. Often after they are sold, there are not a lot of changes from the outside, particularly branding, vet practice name and logo. But if you look deeper, changes begin to emerge. E.g., practices owned by the same corporate group post the same news or articles on their social media platforms and the websites look the same as the clinic in the next town.

The hard-working staff initially remain loyal but with time they can become disillusioned and lose the passion they had in their role. This can be due to a change in culture and ethos and having reduced decision-making ability on the best treatments for their patients. Equally, corporate practices may request extensive approval process to purchase new equipment or modify existing processes and practices.

Importantly, when making decisions on the best treatment for your pet, some corporations are governed by strict rigid policies and procedures. This corporate structure can also impact the speed at which patients are treated. Within some of these clinics, certain decisions may require approval from head office – which could delay your pet’s treatment.

The traditional independent practice is sadly becoming few and far between in recent years. These independents are owned and operated by an individual vet or a team of vets and may have more than one location.

Family-style, independent practices like The Woodbridge Vets will tend to have low staff turnover due to the excellent culture and feeling of belonging that exists, meaning your pet is much more likely to have continuity of care and see the same faces who know their treatment history each time you visit. Similarly, you are more likely to form a trusted relationship over time with an independent vet. To ensure you can form this trusted relationship with your vet, The Woodbridge Vets has developed the ‘Same Vet Promise’ so you can see the vet whose personal responsibility is to know everything about you and your pet.

Crucially, independent vets are not governed by corporate policies and procedures when it comes to decision making on the best treatment for your pet. The Vets operating in independent practices are empowered to resolve all treatment decisions in house, straight away, using clinical judgement, with the knowledge that they have the complete support of the owners, who they can always communicate with regularly and promptly.

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