New BVA resource will help practices protect vet teams from abusive reviews

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging practices to protect vet teams from the impact of abusive online reviews from clients using an innovative new resource. The guide How to manage unfair and abusive reviews online wasdeveloped for BVA members after Voice of the Veterinary Profession statistics revealed 1 in 2 vets working in clinical practice had recently experienced online abuse, with unfair reviews the most common type reported.

The new guide, developed in association with Vets Digital, is the latest addition to BVA’s ‘Respect your vet team – end abuse’ campaign, which aims to support vets and veterinary workplaces who experience abuse from animal owners either in person or online, in the form of harassment, trolling and unfair reviews.

It will be added to the Respect Your Vet Team toolkit, which offers a range of resources to support Team Vet in protecting staff and limiting the frequency and impact of abuse from clients. These include practical tips on how to protect veterinary staff from online abuse, downloadable posters and graphics encouraging respectful behaviour from clients and a series of blogs exploring these issues.

BVA President Malcolm Morley said: “The vast majority of clients are hugely appreciative of the care they receive from their vet teams, resulting in thousands of positive reviews every year. While we recognise not every client will have a positive experience and may wish to provide critical feedback, a small number are posting deliberately abusive or unfair reviews. This is unacceptable and can have a hugely negative impact on individual veterinary professionals and the wider team. Protecting the wellbeing of veterinary teams remains a top priority for BVA and this new resource will help vet teams to take practical steps to limit the impact of this type of abuse.”

When asked in the Autumn 2021 Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey about online abuse experienced in the last 12 months most common type of online abuse reported by vets was unfair reviews (90%). Almost half of those who experienced online abuse had experienced abusive language (46%), while one in three (33%) experienced trolling. A further three in ten (31%) experienced online harassment.

Vetlife Helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on: 0303 040 2551 or via anonymous email.

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