Most complaints can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and directly with the person concerned. If you have a complaint, you should make this in the first instance to the vet at the practice you have attended, by speaking to the vet over the phone or in person, as appropriate.
If your complaint cannot be resolved by the vet at the practice you attend, you should then follow the below guide to making a complaint.
Guide to making a complaint
We hope that before you complain formally you will give the practice and veterinary surgeon concerned a chance to put things right. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way, and you wish to make a formal complaint, we would like you to let us know in writing as soon as possible – ideally within a matter of days or at most a few weeks – because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.
Regretfully, we are unable to investigate complaints made more than 3 months after the event.
Please include the following information to assist us in investigating the problem:
- Why – the nature of the complaint/problem
- Where – which practice you are making a complaint about
- When the problem occurred
- Who – which staff were involved
- What you are hoping for as an outcome
What we shall do
We will aim to acknowledge your complaint within five working days, telling you who is dealing with your complaint and when you can expect to receive a reply.
Please note that without prior consent, case investigations can only be discussed with the registered owner of the patient in question.
Complaints are usually addressed by the Practice Manager responsible for that practice in the first instance. If you have already tried to resolve the matter with the branch Practice Manager, the matter can be escalated to the Company Director at your request.
In most cases, we hope to give you a full reply within 15 working days but if it is going to take longer, we will get in touch with you to let you know what is happening. We shall then be in a position to offer you an explanation, and/or the results of our investigation.
Where deemed appropriate, advice is also obtained through our Professional Indemnity Insurers. An external company run by experienced veterinary surgeons on behalf of the veterinary profession.
When we look into your complaint, we shall aim to:
- find out what happened and what went wrong
- make sure you receive an apology, where this is appropriate
- in some cases, identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again
What to do if you are still unhappy
We hope that, if you have a problem, you will use our practice complaints procedure.
This will give us the best chance of putting right whatever has gone wrong. We also view this as an opportunity to hear your feedback and make improvements if appropriate.