The news follows an announcement from the GMC last month that complaints about doctors rose by 23% last year, possibly due to the imminent introduction of revalidation.
Data from NCAS, an organisation which helps NHS bodies to resolve concerns about doctors’ professional practice, found that GP suspensions had fallen for the first time in five years. A total of 45 GPs were suspended from work in 2011/12, compared to 84 in 2010/11.
One possible reason for the dip in suspensions could be 'changes in the management of primary care', such as the clustering of PCTs and the development of clinical commissioning groups, NCAS said.
NCAS director Lynn Hugo said: ‘We will be monitoring this over the next twelve months to see if this is an ongoing trend.
'It’s important for NHS managers and their colleagues who have concerns about a GP’s practice to call us as soon as possible. If they are unsure of who is responsible for managing the concern, we will point them in the right direction.’