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GMC chief: 'Confidence in doctors remains extremely high despite complaints'

We are investing more in this area and we are rolling out a package of measures both to protect patients and provide greater support for doctors during the course of their careers.

While we do need to develop a better understanding of why complaints to us are rising, we do not believe it reflects falling standards of medical practice.

Every day there are millions of interactions between doctors and patients and all the evidence suggests that public trust and confidence in the UK's doctors remains extremely high.

– Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council (GMC)

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GMC chief: 'Patients more likely to complain'

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.

Cancer Research UK: 'Spotting early signs of cancer can make a real difference'

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.

– Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK

Quarter of Brits 'find it a hassle to make doctors appointment'

  • 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.

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Complaints about lack of respect for patients rose by 45%

  • 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 up 23% in a year

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.

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The number of complaints against doctors has soared, a new report has found Credit: Hugh Macknight/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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.

Army doctor denies Mousa cover-up

Army medic Dr Derek Keilloh.
Army medic Dr Derek Keilloh. Credit: PA

An Army doctor has been accused of a cover-up over the death of Iraqi detainee Baha Mousa following his death at the hands of British soldiers. Dr Derek Keilloh, appearing before the General Medical Council, claimed he only spotted dried blood around the nose of the hotel receptionist

Mr Mousa was arrested by soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Queen's Lancashire Regiment in a swoop against insurgents during the Iraq conflict in 2003. He was hooded, handcuffed and beaten to a pulp before he died 36 hours after first being arrested and held at the Army detention centre in Basra.

He suffered 93 separate injuries. Dr Keilloh supervised a failed resuscitation attempt of Mr Mousa in a desperate bid to save the detainee's life. But the doctor, at the time the Captain and Regimental Medical Officer of the QLR, has always maintained he did not see the victim's many injuries.

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