Article Text

Can't pay? Won't pay? Managing debt in practice
  1. Ewan McNeill

    Ewan McNeill qualified from Glasgow in 1984 and is joint principal of the Castle Veterinary Centre in Nottingham. He is currently the president of the Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons and a trustee of the Veterinary Benevolent Fund.

  2. Nick Blayney

    Nick Blayney qualified from Liverpool in 1980 and has been in full‐time practice ever since. He is President‐Elect of the BVA, and a recent chairman of its Members Services Group.


BAD debts are one of the principal causes of high blood pressure in the offices of many veterinary practices, while slow payers are a hindrance to good cash flow and a more comfortable bank balance. Debt mountains are also a major problem for many clients. As part of a culture of care, practitioners should ensure that the debt in their practices is minimised and that their clients understand that, while veterinary care is neither cheap nor free, there are ways to help them manage animal treatment costs. In this article Ewan McNeill and Nick Blayney explain some of the issues surrounding fee payment and examine strategies that may minimise debt, while, on page 50, Jeremy Collyer shares his experiences of pursuing a debt through the small claims court, as a last resort.

Statistics from

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.