My independent practice is a stand alone business working from one site. The practice is unique in the area offering holistic treatments (but not dismissing western approach where clinically appropriate). They have 24/7 on call nurse support but, (understandably) ,
refer out of hour emergencies to another practice (belonging to a local independent group consisting of 4 practices).
The only downside for me is that an out of hours emergency drive for me is 45 mins....acceptable for a minor fracture, not so good for clinical presentations requiring time critical veterinary intervention.
I welcome new competition that drives down prices of independents that charge daft amounts. Small independents or stand alone practices offering exemplary &/or unique services should still do ok unless big chains significantly under price independents and take their clients.
I actually used to be registered with companion care within the local PAH store & prior to PAH taking over.