RCVS launches ADR initiative

On 3rd November 2014 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons ( RCVS ) launched a 6 month trial of alternative dispute resolution to develop a new resolution for users of veterinary services.

The RCVS is obliged to investigate all complaints, but their remit is limited to dealing with serious concerns regarding the fitness to practise of a veterinary surgeon or registered veterinary nurse. This leaves many complainants feeling dissatisfied that whilst their concerns may be valid, they often don’t meet the high threshold necessary for an RCVS fitness to practise investigation.

The alternative dispute resolution trial launched by the RCVS will attempt to resolve disputes in a way which is acceptable to both veterinary surgeons and also consumers. The Ombudsman service will administer the trial, which will be limited to 150 cases in regards to the treatment of a small animal. The Ombudsman will be suggesting rather than imposing a solution to parties, which could include financial compensation, the issuing of an apology or other practical redress.

The trial will end in May 2015 and will facilitate analysis of the potential development of a permanent scheme for the RCVS.

The professional disciplinary lawyers at Richard Nelson LLP are equipped to advise veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses regarding any fitness to practise investigation with the RCVS and can also advise in relation to an alternative dispute resolution issue.

If you would like further information regarding any of the issues raised in this article, please read our Vets service page, or contact us directly.


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