May 1st 2019

FAQ: We Don’t Feel We Have Done Anything Wrong, So Why Should We Mediate?

Mediation is a non-judgmental process. The VCMS does not ‘investigate’ complaints and will not be assessing who is right and wrong. 

Many complaints involve an owner’s criticism of the veterinary care provided, but when explored in detail, are really about communication and trust. 

Very few complaints referred to the VCMS resolve on the basis of a practice accepting there were failings in the care provided. 

In the main, resolutions are found when misunderstandings are explained, explanations are accepted, practices’ acknowledge the impact of a situation, service or communication on an owner and the underlying reason for a complaint can be addressed. 

The emotional factors in complaints can also be explored and addressed in mediation. An owner’s emotions can make resolving a complaint more difficult, and if an impartial resolution manager can help manage the interaction and move the complaint along, this can help in finding a resolution. 

A third party to hear and acknowledge the emotional impact and drivers of a complaint can be incredibly powerful and reveal issues which have triggered or been a barrier to resolving a complaint. 

Mediation is not about whether you will compromise, but looks at what is constructive, will resolve the issues raised and bring the complaint to a conclusion. 

If as a practice, you feel that you have done everything you can for a client and their animal, and have responded to their complaint in full, the complaint is continuing and unresolved. 

If mediation can bring matters to a conclusion and find out why the complaint is ongoing, then it is effective and worth a go. 

April 20th 2022

Vets Are Human Too

It is the human condition to be fallible sometimes. This includes pet owners, their veterinary surgeons and mediators. Fallibility takes many forms, but a key cause is communication and, more importantly, miscommunication.
April 14th 2022

The Importance of Helping a Client to Feel Heard and Valued

As part of our mediation service, the VCMS assist both the public and the veterinary profession in finding mutually beneficial outcomes to complaints.
March 1st 2022

Returning to Work and Your Dog

With restrictions easing across the UK and many returning to full time work, the RSPCA has warned about dogs being abandoned as owners struggle with returning to work and the cost of living rises.