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Unfair Dismissal and Professional Misconduct

On Friday, (25th August), a client of Vets4Pets Middleton filed a complaint about how he and his puppy were treated by the practice's staff.

Vets4Pets Middleton 192 Rochdale Rd, Middleton, Manchester M24 2QF

On Friday (25th August), a client of Vets4Pets Middleton called the practice after his puppy hurt her back leg, which he said might have been broken because she would not put weight on it. He spoke with Louise Robinson, a receptionist, at Vets4Pets Middleton. After describing what had happened to her, the client asked if he could bring his puppy in for an examination.

The receptionist informed the client that no appointments were available that day, so she would not be seen by a vet. The client requested to bring his puppy down because she was in pain, might have broken her leg, wasn't eating or drinking, and needed pain medication.

He was informed once more that no one would be able to see him. It was communicated to him that Monday was the next available appointment; it was not scheduled as an urgent one. He asked if there was anything he could give his puppy to help keep her comfortable, and he was told not to give her anything until she had seen a vet.

The client was then transferred to Michelle Heywood, the practice manager, who told him that the receptionist had complained to her about the client's inappropriate and abusive tone. In response, the client said he did not act abusively or inappropriately and that he did not raise his voice. Considering the circumstances, he said he remained polite and calm. He was in the same room as two witnesses who were watching the puppy while he talked on the phone.

The practice manager went on to say that they were shortstaffed and therefore did not have any appointments that day. The client inquired once more about what he could do to keep his puppy comfortable and whether he could offer her any medication to ease her discomfort. The practice manager went on to say that he should wait until a vet has examined and evaluated his puppy and that he shouldn't give her anything because it might be toxic or the wrong dosage.

The client did not receive contact information or recommendations for after-hours vets during the call. This occurred at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Friday, (25th August). A Saturday appointment at 9:40 a.m. was set up by the practice manager. In order for his puppy to receive pain relief, the client had to beg and struggle to try to get her in sooner; otherwise, the puppy would have been left in agony for about 19 hours before the appointment.

Eventually, the practice manager instructed the client to arrive that day at 3 p.m. In order to provide pain relief, however, this was not an appointment, nor would she receive a veterinary examination.

The practice manager weighed the puppy and observed her during the 3 p.m. appointment. She then administered injectable pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication to her due to the swelling on her leg; however, since the X-ray was not scheduled, it was not performed. During the Saturday appointment, the puppy was examined by the vet, who concluded that she had indeed suffered a hip injury. In addition to pain relief and a one-week course of anti-inflammatory medication, the client was instructed to put his puppy on one-week of restrictive rest. An X-ray was not performed to determine the extent of the injury.

After returning home, the client officially complained to the practice about the treatment he and the puppy had received. He asked for a copy of the call recording as proof that he wasn't disrespectful or abusive, but the practice manager turned this request down because she said. "We do not record our calls." The client had to use the Veterinary Client Mediation Service (VCMS), which was very helpful in getting an apology from Vets4Pets Middleton for the treatment the client had received.

Thank you for getting in touch to raise your concerns.

Please accept our apologies for the any distress the day in question may have caused you, it is not our intention to make anyone feel this way. We always try to work within the best of our ability on any given day, but sometimes it is not possible to accommodate every appointment.

We appreciate that ****** had injured her leg unexpectedly on the day you called, and it was obviously a scary time for you and you felt the best thing for her would be an immediate appointment with our vet that day. We are very sorry we were not able to offer this you and we are very sorry if you perceived this to be animal negligence. You were given a VCA triage appointment and vet approved injectable pain relief that same day, and then offered a vet consult the following morning. If full options were not relayed to you that day, I apologise in this case as it is our policy to provide as much information as possible.

Kind Regards,

Michelle Heywood | Practice Manager

Vets4Pets, 192 Rochdale Road, Middleton M24 2QA

Email from Michelle Heywood to Client (Vets4Pets Middleton)

The client was emailed a few days later to inform him that he was no longer a client of Vets4Pets Middleton and that he had 10 days to find a new vet practice. This occurred following the client's receipt of an apology letter from practice manager Michelle Heywood regarding the way he was treated.

Dismissal Letter sent to Client for making a Complaint (Vets4Pets Middleton)

Keiley Lord, a nurse for Vets4Pets Middleton, sent the client a friend request on his personal Facebook account two days after receiving the email containing the dismissal letter. This was brought to the attention of the practice, but they did not consider it to be a GDPR violation.

Friend request from Keiley Lord (Vets4Pets Middleton Nurse)

Dan Obreja, the owner of the practice, has known the client since 2017 and has never experienced any problems with them. He hasn't talked to the client to get their version of events; instead, he's accepted what practice manager Michelle Heywood has told him. Due to the distance required to travel, the client is currently without a vet for his dogs.

Clients Puppy's injured back Leg

The client was dismissed for complaining because he had to struggle to get his puppy the care she needed. The puppy refused to put any weight on her leg and was not eating or drinking. The client informed us that he had been accused of inappropriate behaviour and abuse over the phone, but Vets4Pets Middleton only relied on the receptionist's account to the practice manager, lacking any supporting evidence.

RCVS Response

Vets4Pets Middleton has dismissed the client without providing evidence; the client was in the same room as two witnesses who are willing to speak with the practice about what transpired from their perspective. However, no attempt has been made to hear the full complaint. The client attempted to speak with the owner of the practice on Wednesday, (29th November), but he declined to discuss the incident with the client, stating that the decision was final and the client would not be reinstated.

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5 comentarios

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04 dic 2023

It's a shit practise I've had lip a few times when I've been there they also wouldn't take in a young wild bird that was simply too young to fly something all vets are supposed to do

My neighbour also lost her cat for 3 weeks when they didn't secure the carrier and the bottom fell off it

Only interested in monet on rochdale Road vets for pets

Give it a bloody swerve

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Miembro desconocido
02 dic 2023

That’s disgusting treatment of a long standing client and an injured puppy🤬

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Miembro desconocido
03 dic 2023
Contestando a

Thank you for your comment, We agree with you on this and also the fact the practice could not provide any evidence to their claims and still decided to dismiss the client is shocking this should have been dealt with more professionally.

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