Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council (GMC), has said that the rise in complaints does not mean necessarily that medical standards are falling.
However, the GMC believes that the following factors could be contributing to the rise in complaints:
- Patients are now more willing to complain about discrepancies than they were in the past.
- Patients have greater expectations of the doctors.
- Within the profession there is less tolerance for poor practice.
- There is better monitoring of medical practic.
- More information is available for patients in the digital age.
- Doctors are more willing to speak out and less willing to tolerate behaviour.
– Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK
It's important to get to know your body so you're familiar with what's normal for you. If you notice any unusual or persistent changes, it's really important to take the time to visit your doctor to talk about it.
More than likely it won't be anything to worry about and it will be a load off your mind.
But if it is something serious, spotting it early can make a real difference because treatment is often simpler and more likely to be effective.
- Almost a quarter of Britons would not see a doctor for a complaint because of the hassle of getting an appointment, Cancer Research UK have said.
- One in five people are also put off going to their GP because they are worried about what the doctor might find, according to research.
- Almost a third of adults would not go to the GP is they believed that an unusual or persistent change to their body would go away in its own time, according to the poll of more than 2,000 Brits.
- Not wanting to waste the doctor's time and embarrassment about the changes to their body were other reasons that might prevent people from making an appointment.
Almost one in three (32 per cent) people in the UK are putting off visiting their GP, despite an unusual or persistent change to their body, according to a survey from Cancer Research UK.
- Grievances were mostly about treatment plans and investigation skills, but there was also a large number of objections about the respect for patients.
- The number of allegations about doctors' communicating skills have risen by 69% in the last year and complaints about lack of respect rose by 45%.
- Almost three quarters of all complaints made were about male doctors and 47% were made about GPs.
- The highest number of accusations were made about about men and older doctors, according to the GMC report.
- Psychiatrists, GPs and surgeons also attracted the highest level of complaints compared with other specialities.
- Last year 8,781 complaints were made compared to 7,153 in 2010, according to the GMC.
- One in every 64 doctors is likely to be investigated by the regulator.
Complaints about doctors have hit a record high with patients more prepared to raise concerns about their treatment, a General Medical Council (GMC) report has found.
Since 2009, the number of complaints has soared - and in the last year alone there has been a 23% increase in the number of grievances lodged against doctors, figures suggest.