Concerns about a vet

 

All vets have to meet these professional standards, and work to the Code of Professional Conduct.

If you have a concern about something that has happened or think your vet hasn't met the expected standards, in the first instance we recommend you talk with them directly about it.

The people involved in your animal’s care are best placed to answer any questions you have about the treatment and care provided or to discuss what’s happened.

You could organise a meeting, give them a call or email the practice outlining your concerns.

Before you meet or contact the vet, it might be helpful to:

  • look at the Code of Conduct and our information about what you can expect from a veterinarian
  • make notes about what you want to talk about and what you are trying to achieve
  • If you want to meet with the veterinarian, make an appointment so they’re expecting you and won’t be interrupted
  • take someone you trust with you for support. These meetings can be hard, especially if you've lost a pet.
  • If you don't feel like you can address the issues face to face, you might want to write to the practice outlining your concerns.

 

If you’re still concerned

Our job is to set professional standards for veterinarians and make sure these are maintained. One way we do this is by looking into notifications and complaints when they are raised with us.

Some things we can’t normally help with, such as:

  • Compensation or refunds
  • Matters purely about fees or costs - you can contact the Disputes Tribunal.
  • Anonymous notifications. If you have concerns about this please call us.
  • Employment or contract matters.
  • Historic issues (it can be hard to establish what happened).
  • Issues about staff in vet clinics who aren't vets, or about clinics in general.

We can look into concerns about individual veterinarians:

  • Breaches of standards or the code of conduct
  • Where there are concerns about the competence
  • Health problems that compromise a veterinarian’s ability to work

For us to address your concerns, you need to:

  • put them in writing
  • provide your contact details
  • name the veterinarian you are concerned about

 

Our processes

We prefer to take an educative approach in the first instance, with outcomes that focus on learning.

We have two ways of addressing concerns. These are:

Notification Review Group:

  • Triages and screens notifications to identify areas of concern and see if further action required
  • Can provide education to veterinarian
  • Can refer to Council if there are health or competence
  • Target completion time is 4 months
  • Three veterinarians and a lay person

Complaints Assessment committee:

  • Formal complaint
  • Suited to serious concerns about the conduct or competence of a veterinarian
  • Formal investigation
  • Target completion time 6-9 months
  • Two veterinarians and a layperson

Notify us

 Complete our form here to get started and notify us of your concerns.

Contact us
We're happy to talk to you about how we can help. You can email us here complaints@vetcouncil.org.nz or call us on 04 473 9600