October 31st 2021

To Mediate, or Not to Mediate: How the VCMS Can Help You

Is mediation right for you? In our blog post we explore the remit of the VCMS and what to consider when deciding whether to engage with the VCMS and our mediation service.

What Exactly is Mediation?

This is a question we are frequently asked when a potential client approaches us – both from members of the public and from the veterinary profession.
Mediation, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary is ‘intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it’. In an easier to understand way, mediation is the process by which both parties agree to mutually make decisions to address a complaint or problem with a goal of reaching a mutually beneficial outcome.

Mediation is a three-way dialogue between the veterinary professional, the client and our own, impartial Resolution Managers. We use a shuttle approach, so we do not involve the consumer and the practice in the same telephone call or email exchange.

How Does Mediation at the VCMS Work?

The mediation processes at the VCMS have been specifically designed and created to efficiently work with those involved to achieve an agreeable outcome.
At every stage, our impartial teams work to resolve the issue based on our set methods. We can adapt how we mediate and will look to find a way that is most likely to help resolve the complaint for the parties involved.

Mediation must be confidential and a ‘without prejudice’ process. This means that the discussions within the mediation must remain within the mediation ‘bubble’. This enables a more constructive conversation as everyone can focus on addressing the issues raised and not protecting their position. This is one of the reasons that mediation is so effective at helping to resolve complaints. If a resolution is agreed, this will then be legally binding on both parties

What is Mediation?

  • Mediation is about compromise – compromise is about furthering the goal of each party without being detrimental to the other party
  • Mediation is about neutrality – we ensure that we are impartial and do not take sides
  • Mediation is about understanding – asking the right questions, understanding both points of view is the way we gain the context needed to resolve issues.

What is Mediation Not?

  • Mediation is not an investigation – mediation is about understanding all viewpoints
  • Mediation is not blame – it is not about pointing fingers or trying to blame the other party
  • Mediation is not about winning – it is about finding an outcome that is acceptable for all involved.

Mediation, unlike litigation, also provides a workable framework to allow practices to improve their process and learn from what happened to avoid similar complaints going forward. It is the malleable nature of mediation that allows the VCMS to support practices and clients to find beneficial solutions.

For more information on our mediation services and to speak to our team, contact us on 0354 040 5834 or via enquiries@vetmediation.co.uk.

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