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In recent news The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the £2 billion veterinary industry, focusing on transparency in pricing, consumer experience, and market dynamics.
With a whopping two-thirds of UK households owning a pet, the outcome of this review has the potential to impact millions of lives—both human and furry. The biggest factor in the current landscape is the cost of vets fees. As an independent, family-run veterinary practice, we wanted to share our perspective on the key issues raised by the CMA and what they mean for you and your pet.
First and foremost, we welcome this initiative. Transparency is crucial in any industry, but especially in one that deals with the health and well-being of members of your family—your pets. We have always prioritised open, honest communication with pet owners regarding treatment plans and pricing. Each of our consultations involves a detailed treatment plan that includes a transparent breakdown of all the costs.
Navigating Rising Costs in the Veterinary Industry:
The recent review rightly points out that the cost of vets has been increasing faster than the rate of inflation. It is essential to delve deeper into the ‘why’ behind it. Just like any other business, Vets face increasing operational and supply costs. The sector has also faced a labour shortage, pushing up staff costs. On top of this, technological advances, while incredibly beneficial for animal care, come at a financial cost.
Here at Knutsford Veterinary Surgery we’ve made significant investments in our facilities and equipment to offer ground breaking treatments. These costs reflect in the quality of care your pet receives however in turn, reflect in the pricing, we are always open and clear with our fees and plan procedures and treatment plans in the most impactful way for animal recovery but also to aid our customers with the cost of vet fees.
TV shows and social media have both driven and reflected increased consumer expectations for veterinary care. We view this as a positive challenge—one that has encouraged the industry to keep up to date with technologies and training methods. We ensure that we provide the most current and effective treatments available and embrace these new evolutions and advancements, the nature of a new cutting edge technology means its only natural that this can have an impact on costs.
The veterinary sector has seen a sharp decline in independently-owned practices, from 89% in 2013 to 45% in 2021. The advantages of scale and support offered by larger groups are appealing, especially given the financial pressures of staying updated with the latest medical technologies and dealing with operational costs.
However, we believe that our independence enables us to provide personalised, attentive and community-focused care.
When it comes to service quality, the critical factor isn’t necessarily whether a practice is part of a larger group or independent. It’s about the ethos and standards that a particular practice upholds. We pride ourselves on providing personalised, community-based care, our reviews and loyal customers are testament to this.
Being an independent practice offers us the flexibility to partner with specialised emergency services. This ensures that our patients have access to the care they need, exactly when they need it. Choice and convenience, along with quality of care, are essential factors in how we approach emergency services.
We believe that the CMA’s review is a step in the right direction towards making the industry more transparent, more accountable and more in line with consumer needs and expectations. We are committed to continually adapting and improving our services to provide the best care possible for your pets.
Our stance is that pet owners should be empowered with information to make the best choices for their pets, including awareness about prescriptions and medications. Our practice is built on the cornerstone of transparency, whether it’s about our independent status or the medication options available.
We welcome your thoughts and experiences as pet owners. To learn more about our services or to share your views, please feel free to get in touch with us.
Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your pets. Here’s to a healthier and happier pet community!