23% rise in complaints about doctors18th September 2012
The General Medical Council has said the number of complaints it has received about doctors has increased by 23% in the last year.
A report by the regulator showed the number of complaints rose to 8,781 in 2011 from 7,153 in 2010.
The number of complaints about doctors received by the regulator has gone up by 69% over the past three years.
However the GMC said this did not mean there had been a recent decline in the standard of care and that the rise was due to patients being more willing to make complaints.
Almost 5,000 complaints were closed after an initial assessment and 2,330 were "fully investigated", while 1,537 were found not to "impair a doctor's ability to practise medicine".
Only 65 doctors were struck from the register, while the majority of cases resulted in warnings.
Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, added: "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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Title: 23% rise in complaints about doctors
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 22734
Date Added: 18th Sep 2012