Nockolds, the solicitors which administer the The Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS) funded by the RCVS, has reported a 100% increase in the number of 'concerns' from pet owners about remote prescriptions since the start of the pandemic. 

No word on the absolute number of 'concerns', but they included:

  • Client concern that the medication was incorrect or unnecessary (misdiagnosis concern);
  • The vet concluding they cannot prescribe a treatment based on a telephone, video or photographic consultation and the need for a in person consultation;
  • The cost of providing a prescription;
  • The cost of the prescription itself;
  • The client being unaware of the ability to purchase medication elsewhere following a diagnosis.

Jennie Jones, Head of VCMS and Partner at Nockolds Resolution (pictured right), said: "The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown period has impacted many pet owners and veterinary practices. The increased use of remote consultations, and online and remote prescription services has been a great help to many during this time, but it also has its challenges as we all adapt to different ways of working. At the VCMS, we are well-equipped to take on complaints that eventuate in these circumstances, drawing on our past experience with prescription-related grievances and their resolution."

During 2018-19, the VCMS concluded 88% of complaints mediated using the ADR process developed by Nockolds.

Nockolds says it anticipates a rise in prescription-related complaints, and welcomes communication from practices and clients regarding these or any other vet-related complaints. Visit: 

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