Complaints about GPs increase 7%

Complaints about GPs have increased since last year, figures from the parliamentary and health service Ombudsman have revealed.

Dr Vautrey: 'I think we’ve seen an increasing culture where patients are actively encouraged to complain'
Dr Vautrey: 'I think we’ve seen an increasing culture where patients are actively encouraged to complain'

The Ombudsman’s review of complaint handling by the NHS in England 2010/11 found that complaints against GPs were up by 162 since 2009/10.

However complaints about GPs (2,581) accounted for just 17% of the total 15,066 NHS complaints in 2010/11, the same percentage as the previous year.

The Ombudsman investigated and reported on 48  of the complaints and 88% of those complaints where upheld.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Richard Vautrey said that the increase in complaints in 2010/11 was ‘no surprise’.

‘I think we’ve seen an increasing culture where patients are actively encouraged to complain,’ he said.

As part of its report the Ombudsman looked into the number of complaints about GPs it had received which referred to patients being removed from GP lists.

The Ombudsman said the number of investigated complaints about people being removed from their GP’s list of registered patients rose by 6% from 2009/10.  

In total 21% of all investigated complaints about GPs were due to patients being removed from lists.

The report said this ‘suggest that GPs are failing to manage relationships with patients properly, resulting in a breakdown in communication and patients being removed from GP patient lists without fair warning or proper explanation'.

However Dr Vautrey said that the increase in number of complaints regarding patients being removed from lists was not significant enough to be a concern.

‘These are obviously very small numbers,’ he said.

Dr Vautrey said that where relationships between the GPs and patients had broken down, it was more likely that the patient would complain.

Overall Dr Vautrey said GPs would always do their best to maintain good working relationships.

‘I think GPs would do their level best to maintain a relationship with their patients,’ he said.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Common conditions in skin of colour

Common conditions in skin of colour

An essential guide to common dermatoses and their presentations in skin of colour.

Common asthma drug speeds up COVID-19 recovery in community for high-risk patients

Common asthma drug speeds up COVID-19 recovery in community for high-risk patients

A common corticosteroid shortens COVID-19 recovery times for patients aged over 50...

Salaried GPs must not be coerced into vaccinating for free, BMA warns

Salaried GPs must not be coerced into vaccinating for free, BMA warns

Salaried GPs should not be coerced into unpaid work for the COVID-19 vaccination...

Delayed risk assessments may have cost BAME doctors' lives, BMA chair warns

Delayed risk assessments may have cost BAME doctors' lives, BMA chair warns

Delayed risk assessments may have contributed to disproportionate deaths among doctors...

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

Coronavirus: Key guidance GPs need to know about COVID-19

GPonline provides an overview of the key guidance relating to coronavirus, including...