The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has released new guidance aimed at improving transparency around fees and practice ownership, enabling vet practices to offer greater client choice.

With over 19,000 members across the UK, the BVA’s initiative responds to concerns raised by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regarding the veterinary services market for pets.

The guidance provides veterinary professionals with practical tools to address the CMA’s provisional concerns. By implementing simple measures outlined in the guidance, practices can enhance transparency of fees, practice ownership, prescribing, and dispensing. These steps not only facilitate informed decision-making for clients but also promote good animal welfare through increased client choice and shared responsibility for care delivery.

Key Recommendations

The guidance outlines six key recommendations for vet practices:

  • Encourage open discussions about fees early on.
  • Display a price list for frequently offered services.
  • Provide clear information on payment options.
  • Promote contextualised care as a practice norm.
  • Proactively offer prescriptions and discuss dispensing options.
  • Communicate information about practice ownership and associated services.

Empowering Clients and Strengthening Relationships

Dr. Anna Judson, President of the British Veterinary Association, emphasised the importance of transparency in rebuilding trust with clients. She highlighted the guidance as a proactive measure for vet practices to demonstrate the value of veterinary care. Dr. Judson underscored the significance of embracing contextualised care, which tailors treatment to the needs of both clients and animals, fostering stronger relationships and promoting animal welfare.

The guidance encourages vet teams to engage in open dialogue with clients and adopt tailored treatment approaches that empower owners to actively participate in their pets’ care. By embracing contextualised care, vet practices can cultivate trust, enhance client satisfaction, and contribute to the overall wellbeing of animals.

As the veterinary profession evolves, initiatives like the BVA’s guidance play a crucial role in adapting to changing market dynamics and addressing regulatory concerns. By prioritising transparency and client choice, vet practices can uphold professional standards, strengthen client relationships, and ensure the welfare of the animals under their care.