The General Medical Council (GMC) commissioned Plymouth University to undertake research looking at the increase in complaints received. Complaints to the GMC almost doubled in a period spanning five years; in 2007 complaints received totalled 5,168 compared to 10,347 in 2012.
The research was limited in that it did not consider the specific cause behind the complaints.
Although the number of consultations with doctors had increased this did not appear to tally with the level of increase of complaints received.
The report concluded that there were a number of reasons, summarised as follows:
- Patients are better informed about their rights and are not afraid to voice concerns
- Patients are more likely to complain if dissatisfied with level of care received
- As a result of budgetary restraints the standard of care may have declined but there was no specific evidence that the standard of care had declined.
- It was felt that social media and negative media coverage in recent years my have played a part.
Following the research it is apparent that the complaints were not always appropriately directed and the complaints system could be improved.
A full copy of the report can be seen here.
If you have any concerns in respect of care you have received by your GP do not hesitate to contact our specialist Clinical negligence team on 0800 316 8892.