GPs face unfair blame for errors

The existing NHS complaints system unfairly blames GPs for errors across the health service, according to GPs.

Dr Stevenson: GPs were 'being held to account for failures that are beyond our control' (Photograph: David Williams)
Dr Stevenson: GPs were 'being held to account for failures that are beyond our control' (Photograph: David Williams)

The conference of Welsh LMCs in Newport heard how GPs were often the only named professional the NHS can blame when hospital referrals or tests were lost or delayed.

Dr Alan Stevenson, of Morgannwg LMC, said GPs were 'being held to account for failures that are beyond our control'.

'The GP is the only person who has any ownership of the referral process so they become accountable,' he said.

'Secondary care loses referrals and it's the poor GP who has his name on the whole process.'

The conference was also concerned by the 'blurring of the margins' between NHS guidelines and protocols.

'GPs are now being criticised publicly for not following NICE guidelines,' Dr Stevenson warned.

'Guidelines about the best approach are not being taken by health boards as the only accepted way to practise,' he added.

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