2018 Fees Survey Results Now Available
The results of our 2018 fees survey are compiled from responses received between September And December 2018, this is approximately 18 months since the last Fees Survey in 2017. We have had a total of 373 respondents that answered at last some of the questions, which is an increase of 21% on the 2017 survey. Almost 60% of the responses were for the small animal question although we have a larger percentage increase in the number of both large animal and equine than in previous years.
Interestingly the representation of practice by region and practice type has changed very little over the past 3 surveys, however we are seeing an increase in practice size with fewer practices with <2 vets 12.1% compared to 18.8% in 2017 while 5-10 vet practices have increased from 24.7% to 32.1%. It will be of no surprise to see that we have also had a doubling of the number of practices that are a part of a regional or national corporate group increasing from 10.3% of the survey respondents to 21.8%.
As in the past the results are broken down into regional figures where
• A = Wales and South West
• B = Greater London
• C = South East
• D = Scotland and N. Ireland
• E = North of England
• F = Merseyside and Midlands
We have used the median and the interquartile ranges for all data as we feel these are less susceptible to the effect of odd outlying figures than the average. As these represent the middle 50% of all responses these results are arguably the most meaningful to our readers. The diagram for each question also demonstrates the overall range of the replies. As always all figures are quoted net of VAT.
Strangely when one looks at the Equine fees it appears that most have gone down in price, however 61% of the respondents say that they have increases their prices since the last survey. To look at an overall rate of inflation a bundle of fees, consisting of initial routine examination, a 5 stage PPE, routine dental examination and float and the cost of sedation /waiting has been compared with the 2017 survey. The data collected shows the bundle falling form £431.87 to £429.66 a 0.5% decrease. Perhaps the increase in the number of practices replying to the equine questions represents a cohort that charges less than were represented in the previous survey.
60% of Farm work respondents also said that they had increased their fees since the last survey, yet when we look at the data it appears that for all visits the fee is reduce perhaps this is due to having different zone visits on certain days? Administration, injection and dispensing fees have all increased dramatically, by as much as 70% for dispensing medication. We now have 30% of large animal practices covering out of hours emergency work for farms that use another vet for routine work which is an increase of 28%.The effect of inflation was assessed by adding the prices for routine calving, foot trimming, elective caesarean and herd health schemes and comparing with previous years. The median figures for each question were used to give us a bundle of fees, the figure for 2018 was £556.90 compared to £564.92 in 2017 a fall of 1.4%. Looking back to the figures from 2014 the value for the same bundle was £ 507.18 giving us a 9.6% increase over the 4 years.
Unlike farm and Equine, Small animal fees continue to increase at a constant rate, they also have the biggest range in prices. Regionally the same regions are dearest for all the questions and the same region is almost always cheapest. We see larger (often double digit) % increases in fees from the upper quartile than from the median, and the lower quartiles show the smallest % increases, this holds both nationally and within individual regions.
Routine treatments such as vaccinations, neutering and pre anaesthetic bloods all appear to increase in or around the rate of the CPI. Looking at our bundle of questions which comprises of a kitten vaccination course with Felv, puppy vaccination course, cat spay and consultation, the median has increased from £380.00 in 2017 too £402.03 in 2018 a 5.7% increase over the 18 months, over the past 4 years this has increased on average by around 3.7% per annum. Surprisingly areas B & D showed decreases in the priced charged for these what we could call price sensitive products. This year the biggest % increase has been for the pyometra at £650.00 as a median figure it has an increase of 20.7%, the 2014 median figure for pyometra was £450.00 showing a 11.1% increase per year for the past 4 years. The scale and polish cat also shows a similar rate of inflation with 15.4 % increase of the median value this year while ultrasound and radiography also have 18% median price increases in the past 18 months.