Complaints about doctors rise says GMC
Complaints about doctors have reached a record high, according to a report published by the General Medical Council today.
The number of complaints increased from 7,153 in 2010 to 8,781 in 2011 – a rise of 23 per cent. The report also found that GPs, psychiatrists and surgeons attracted the highest number of complaints and older male doctors were more likely to receive a complaint than female doctors.
There was a rise in concerns about how doctors interacted with patients, according to the GMC which oversees doctors in the UK. Allegations about communication increased by almost 70 per cent and complaints about a lack of respect rose by 45 per cent.
The report found that the rise in complaints did not necessarily mean a fall in standards of practice and initial analysis pointed towards greater expectations and an increased willingness to complain.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive, of the General Medical Council said: “While we do need to develop a better understanding of why complaints to us are rising, we do not believe it reflects falling standards of medical practice. Every day there are millions of interactions between doctors and patients and all the evidence suggests that public trust and confidence in the UK’s doctors remains extremely high.”
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