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COMPLAINTS ABOUT DOCTORS REACH RECORD LEVELSBlog Author: Poppy Kilroy BA (HONS) LLB (HONS)
According to figures published by the General Medical Council (“GMC”) today in their report, “The state of the medical education and practice in the UK” complaints about doctors’ professional conduct have reached record levels.
The increase dates back to 2007 and continues a steady rise. Last year complaints rose by 23%, also reaching record levels. Data for the first half of 2012 shows there is no sign of the volume of complaints slowing down, with a further 27% increase registered.
The GMC have said that they are taking the rise in complaints seriously and working to find out the reason for the increase. They also plan to deal more effectively with the complaints.
Just a day prior to the publication of these figures a British Social Attitudes survey showed that public satisfaction with the NHS had fallen for the first time last year from 70% to 58%.
Most of the complaints made in 2011 came from members of the public. The remainder being made by other doctors and healthcare staff, as well as others in authority such as police officers and medical directors.
Despite the number of complaints only a fraction resulted in some form of disciplinary action. Last year 65 doctors were struck off the medical register; this being the most serious disciplinary action that can be taken.
The GMC report reveals that doctors were struck off last year in cases including substandard treatment, financial deception, false and misleading reporting, incomplete medical records and failure to co-operate with an investigation and fraud.
The report also details a noticeable increase in complaints about communication from doctors to patients, up by 69%.
Nearly half of all complaints are about GPs, however GPs say this is not surprising given that they are a quarter of all doctors and have more frequent and personal interaction with patients than hospital doctors.
From the end of 2012 the GMC plans to introduce a five-yearly revalidation of doctors, who will have to provide evidence that they continue to be on top of the job by way of annual appraisals, testimonials and patient surveys.
You can read the full GMC report HERE.
Poppy Kilroy is a clinical negligence solicitor at Goodmans Law. You can email Poppy at email@example.com . The team have many years experience of clinical negligence claims and are always happy to help and advise.
For more information please contact us on 0151 257 6000 or by email at FRT@goodmanslaw.co.uk . Our first response team is available from 8am to 8pm every business day.
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