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Vets are more trusted than doctors by the UK population, according to a national opinion poll.

The poll by public opinion researcher ICM found that 94% of the public trusts the veterinary profession generally or completely, putting them above GPs, dentists and head teachers.

More than 2,000 members of the public took part in the poll, which was commissioned by the Royal College of Veterinary Students (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) as part of the Vet Futures project.

“The veterinary profession sets itself very high standards and we know from our own member research that vets are particularly concerned, and sometimes worried, about how their clients — and wider society — perceive them“, said John Blackwell, president of the BVA.

“So it is particularly heartening to learn that the general public holds the profession in such high regard in relation to trust.”

The survey also found that 78% of people using veterinary services are satisfied or very satisfied with the level of service they receive. This puts veterinary surgeons in the middle of the field ranging from 87% of people satisfied with the service they receive from pharmacists to 55% satisfied with the service from accountants.

The veterinary profession came third in a list of key professions in terms of overall trust. Vets stood behind opticians, who attracted a 95% trust rating, and pharmacists, who took the top position with 97%.

The survey found that 70% of those who use veterinary services rate the value for money offered by their veterinary practice as fair, good or excellent.

“It is also that there is more to be done in relation to public perceptions of value for money,” added Stuart Reid, president of RCVS.

“We will explore these issues further as the Vet Futures project progresses and we are keen to hear ideas from all members of the veterinary team.”

View the full survey, which was released last month (May)