Complaints made against doctors in the UK have doubled since 2007, latest figures show.
Doctor complaints have doubled in 5 years
Data from the General Medical Council (GMC) showed that in the past five years, complaints against doctors have more than doubled. In 2007, there were fewer than 4,000 recorded complaints against doctors compared to more than 8,100 in 2012.
Roughly a third of all complaints led to a full investigation by the regulator but leading health experts highlighted that the number represented a small number of the 250,000 doctors working in the UK for the NHS.
A recent survey from the independent Healthwatch England suggested that many problems were still going unreported. The findings from this survey suggested that nearly half of all problems experienced by patients were going unreported.
The increase in complaints and the subsequent investigations has caused concern for patients, doctors and health watchdogs alike.
Anna Bradley, chairwoman of Healthwatch England, said: "We all have a right to safe, dignified and high-quality care."
The General Medical Council is hoping to learn from the rise in complaints and wants to make complaint reporting an easy and transparent process as many patients may be unaware who they should direct their complaints to.
The GMC chairman Professor Sir Peter Rubin said: “On the whole the level of care UK patients receive is good and doctors deserve our continued trust and respect.”
“What the report shows is that some patients are unaware where they should be going to raise concerns over their treatment and we need to do more to help patients raise their issues.”
The NHS provides healthcare for everyone in the UK but health insurance can provide more choice about when and where you are treated.
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