At the Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS) we appreciate that as professionals, you are committed to providing excellent treatment and care to animals whilst delivering an exceptional service to the clients.
In all areas of our society, despite our best efforts, complaints do arise, and the veterinary sector is no different. We understand when communication with a client has become too emotional, and it may no longer be possible to communicate effectively. When you feel your practice has responded fully to a complaint but the client remains dissatisfied, you feel that you have reached an impasse. Clients may seek redress from the RCVS or civil courts. These routes can be ineffective, contentious and disproportionate which can further aggravate the client and have a detrimental impact on the reputation of the veterinary industry.
Mediation is seen by many as a very effective method of resolving complaints and disputes, particularly those that involve high levels of emotion. We recognise that bereavement, upset, fear and anxiety are often factors in complaints faced by veterinary professionals.
The VCMS is an ADR scheme delivered by Nockolds Solictors Ltd. We are experienced in the provision of complaint resolution within a regulated sector. We will respond to complaints effectively, honestly, openly, politely and constructively. Our service is based on a mediation approach, whereby both parties are assisted in reaching a resolution together, rather than imposed under an arbitration or adjudication based system.
The resolution team at the VCMS are focused on finding practical resolutions using a mediation approach to resolve the often emotional aspects of complaints. Within the team we have experience and a good understanding of veterinary practice, and combine this with our expertise in complaint resolution.
As a mediation process, we do not judge or make a finding of the standard of care provided. We will explore the circumstances of what has triggered the complaint, why the client feels dissatisfied and what further information can be provided to help the client understand or accept what has happened. Possible resolutions are an apology, remedial treatment, a refund, referral to another professional or other means.
For further information and answers to queries frequently asked, please do visit our FAQ area of the website.