Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - Fiona Williams Fiona Williams

A survey commissioned by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and conducted amongst 2,000 members of the public has found that veterinary surgeons are amongst the most trusted of UK professionals.

The survey was conducted with a nationally-representative sample of 2,000 UK adults who were asked questions about 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.

In terms of trust, the survey found that a very high proportion of the public (94%) either completely trusted or generally trusted (34% and 60% respectively) veterinary surgeons. This put veterinary surgeons at number three in the league table of most trusted professions – below opticians and pharmacists, but above general practitioners and dentists. The ranking is the same as was found in a 2015 survey carried out as part of the joint RCVS and British Veterinary Association Vet Futures project.

Regarding satisfaction levels, the picture was similarly positive, with an overall satisfaction rate of 80% (39% very satisfied and 41% satisfied), which meant that veterinary surgeons were the fourth highest profession in terms of satisfaction rates – below opticians, pharmacists and dentists, but above general practitioners and accountants. This represented a slight improvement on the 2015 survey, where the overall satisfaction rate was 78%.

In terms of value for money, 32% of the respondents felt that veterinary surgeons represented excellent (8%) or good (24%) value for money, with 38% thinking that veterinary fees were fair. Some 29% of respondents thought that veterinary surgeons and their services provided poor (21%) or very poor (8%) value for money. These findings were similar to that of the 2015 survey.

Commenting on the results, RCVS President Dr Niall Connell 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.”

The survey was carried out on behalf of the RCVS by Mo Gannon & Associates Ltd via the Walnut Omnibus survey.

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