When it comes to veterinary practices across the UK there are generally two different types of models. The independent and the corporate.
All vets have your pet’s best interest at heart, regardless of whether they work within an independently or corporate owned practice. However, the framework in which they operate may impact the level of care your pet receives.
In recent years, the UK has seen a progressive shift towards clinics being sold to corporates. A ‘corporate’ is a clinic or group of clinics owned and run as a corporation, with multiple sites located across the entire UK.
These corporations consist of a board of directors, often a very large number of shareholders, location managers and appointed vets in assigned surgeries. Often these vets will call themselves ‘owners’, however this isn’t the case and essentially these practices are owned by the corporation. Sometimes, from the outside, it may be difficult to tell them apart. Often when they are sold, not much appears different from the outside, particularly branding, practice name and logo. But if you delve deeper, subtle changes begin to emerge. For example, practices owned by the same corporate post the same news or articles on their social media platforms and their websites look the same as the clinic in the next village.
The hard working team initially remain loyal but over time they can become disillusioned and lose the passion they once had in their role. This may be because of a change in culture and ethos as well as having limited decision making ability on the best treatments for their patients. Equally, corporate clinics may require an extensive approval process to buy new equipment or modify existing practices and processes.
When it comes to making decisions on the best course of treatment for your pet, some corporations are governed by pre defined, rigid policies and procedures. By the nature of their business model, our understanding is that some corporate vets are influenced by measures on set parameters, one of these being shareholder profit. In some rare instances this may mean that business targets impact on care decisions such as quality of medication or standard of operating procedures. This type of corporate structure may also impact on the speed at which your pet is treated. Within some of these types of clinic structures, certain veterinary decisions may require permissions from head office – delaying your pet’s treatment.
The traditional style of practice which is becoming few and far between in recent years is the independent, family-themed practice like Arun Vet Group. These are owned and operated by an individual vet or a group of vets and may exist in one or multiple locations.
Family-style, independent practices like AVG tend to have low staff turnover based on the excellent culture, environment and feeling of belonging that exists, meaning your pet is more likely to receive continuity of care and see the same familiar faces who know their treatment history each and every time you visit. Similarly, as the pet owner, you’re more likely to form a one-to-one trusted relationship over time with an independent vet.
Importantly, an independent vet is not governed by corporate policies and procedures when it comes to making decisions on the best course of treatment for your pet. Vets operating in independent practices are empowered to resolve all treatment decisions in house, right away, using their clinical judgement, with the knowledge they have complete support from the owners, who they are also always able to communicate with regularly and promptly.
Why use Arun Vet Group?
During 2020 AVG saw a huge number of new clients register with the practice, most of whom came from other clinics recently sold to corporates.
As well as welcoming a record number of new patients to the practice, 2020 saw the AVG family grow as well. We regularly receive CVs from highly skilled individuals who have found themselves disillusioned both by the changes that have occurred within the industry and their current working environment. They are attracted not only to an independent practice like AVG but also to a practice who values and listens to their staff in a way that cannot be replicated by the competitor models.
We’re an independent, expertly managed and regulated team who are passionate about delivering the very best veterinary care possible. We never cut corners and will always take the correct course of action based on the needs of our patients and your wishes. We are an RCVS Accredited Practice achieving outstanding status and awards in every category – we are currently the only independently owned UK practice to have achieved this. This means our clients have peace of mind knowing that we’re committed to delivering excellence in pet care and customer service.
Arun Vet Group may always be growing but it’s our promise to ‘stay small whilst growing big’, always retaining the same values that sets us apart from corporate practices. We’re not restricted by corporate policies and procedures; our trusted team is driven by what’s best for you and your pet and we will use our expertise to help you make informed healthcare choices.
Our 24-hour hospital in Storrington is now the only independently owned clinic in the heart of the village. Our teams take a proactive, rather than a reactive approach, taking pride and putting love into everything we do. We are not satisfied unless we know we are giving everything to our patients.