A survey commissioned by the RCVS has found that a significant number of pet owners think veterinary surgeons offer poor or very poor value for money, suggesting more work needs to be done to communicate the value of veterinary services.

The survey was conducted by Mo Gannon & Associates, which asked 2,000 UK adults about their satisfaction with the service they and their animals received from veterinary surgeons, levels of trust in the profession, and whether the service provided by vets represents value for money.

32% of the respondents felt that veterinary surgeons represented excellent (8%) or good (24%) value for money. 38% thought that veterinary fees are fair. However, 29% thought that veterinary surgeons and their services provided poor (21%) or very poor (8%) value for money. The results were very similar to the last time the survey was conducted, in 2015.

Nevertheless, veterinary surgeons continue to enjoy very high levels of trust amongst the public. 94% said they either completely trust (34%) or generally trust (60%) vets. This put veterinary surgeons in third place amongst the most trusted professions, below opticians and pharmacists but above GPs and and dentists. 

Satisfaction with the profession was also high. 80% said they were either very satisfied (39%) or satisfied (41%), putting vets in fourth place below opticians, pharmacists and dentists, but above general practitioners and accountants.

RCVS President Dr Niall Connell, pictured right (would you trust this man?) said: "These results clearly demonstrate that there is a great deal of good will towards the veterinary profession and the work they do in treating the nation’s animals and serving their communities. The basis of all good relationships is trust, and it is fantastic to see that our clients continue overwhelmingly to trust our knowledge and expertise and remain very happy with the service we provide them.

"The picture on value for money is clearly a bit more mixed, although clearly 70% of the respondents recognise that we at least charge fair fees in terms of our time and expertise. There is, of course, always more work that we can do in order to help the public understand veterinary costs and fees and promote the value of veterinary care, as demonstrated by last year’s joint Pets Need Vets social media campaign with BVA, in which we highlighted the benefits to pet owners of being registered with a vet."


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