Independent Practice: what this means to you

What is an Independent Veterinary Practice?

Wilbury Veterinary Surgery is now one of the very few remaining independent family-
owned veterinary practices in Sussex, but what does this mean for our clients, their beloved
pets and our staff?
Brightonians are renowned for their passionate support of local independent businesses and
we are incredibly lucky to live and work in a town where hundreds of small independent
businesses are thriving. This certainly makes for greater consumer choice and gives us the
colourful and interesting town we are all proud to call home. Some consumers in Brighton
will actively decide to try and boycott some of the bigger corporate retail or entertainment
brand-names; instead choosing to spend their hard earned money supporting local
independent shops and cafes. Interestingly a lot of these same consumers may have no idea
that the veterinary surgery they are using is owned by a large corporate firm.
In the last 10 years the veterinary industry in the UK has significantly transformed with the
acquisition of many small veterinary practices by larger corporate firms. Currently, around
40% of vet practices in the UK are owned by corporate companies, and this is expected to
rise to 70% within five years. Therefore, most owners will soon be taking their pets to vet clinics owned by a corporate entity, rather than by the traditional independent family-owned vet. In Brighton & Hove there are now only three independently owned veterinary surgeries to choose from. Wilbury Vets are incredibly proud to still be an independent veterinary surgery working within this city.

Even though I now live miles away, I couldn’t bring myself to change vets and decided that the genuine love and care received from Wilbury vets was worth the extra mileage. You really couldn’t ask for anything more; worth every penny.

Alex Wicks

What impact does independent vs corporate have on your pets health care? It is  important to say that all vets in the UK will work with your pets best interest at heart,
and for many owners choosing a corporate veterinary surgery may be the right choice for their pet. However the structure of the veterinary business can potentially have a big impact on the type of care and service you and your pet receive.
Independent veterinary surgeries tend to have fewer clinical protocols in place than their
corporate counterparts, especially when it comes to making clinical decisions. This allows
vets working in independent practices to have much more clinical freedom when putting
together treatment plans or choosing different or alternative brands of medication. At Wilbury
our vets are allowed to order or have access to any drugs they may deem to be the best for
your pet and we do not restrict them to certain brands or manufacturers. Similarly they are
encouraged to involve you in the decision making regarding your pets care without the
confines of strict protocols. This ultimately leads to a much more unique and tailor-made
service for you and your pet. Independent veterinary surgeries also tend to have a lower staff turnover than their corporate alternatives. This allows for greater continuity of care meaning that if you use Wilbury vets
you are likely to see familiar faces and have the opportunity to build up a rapport with our
staff. Having a trusted relationship with your veterinary surgeon can positively impact the
health of your pet leading to better communication and shared decision making.
The directors of Wilbury Veterinary Surgery are incredibly passionate about looking after our staff; aiming
to create an enjoyable and positive working environment allowing all staff to concentrate
completely on your pets health care. The corporate structure may also impact on the amount of investment spent on a practice in terms of new equipment or refurbishment of clinical areas. Often all decisions within the
corporate structure will need to be proved to be profitable before they can be approved. At
Wilbury we have much more flexible decision making protocols when it comes to investment
in the practice and new equipment. We are actually working towards a very exciting large-
scale refurbishment of our practice to create a more pleasant environment for our clients,
their pets and our staff.

So why choose Wilbury Veterinary Surgery?

Over 3000 owners in Brighton & Hove currently trust Wilbury Veterinary Surgery to provide
the best possible care for their pets. Our team have recently worked together to create a
mission statement for Wilbury Vets to ensure you as our clients of our purpose and goal:

Belief Statement

We believe that in every interaction that we have with our clients, it is important to be able to put ourselves in their shoes and for clients to have the reassurance that everyone in our team is working together to achieve the very best care for them and their pet.

Vision and Purpose

Because of this our purpose is to be the premium, boutique practice in Brighton and Hove where clients know they will be treated with courtesy, kindness and respect whilst their pet will receive tailor-made, modern treatment plans. This will be provided by a dedicated, well resourced, happy and hand -picked team.


We will achieve this by finding out what is important to you, our client, understanding you as an individual and putting ourselves in your shoes. Our highly skilled, empathetic team will go the extra mile to ensure that you and your pet have the best possible experience whilst under our care.