There has been a sharp rise in patient complaints against general practitioners.
Figures from UK medical defence organisation MDDUS’ Annual Report for 2012 have revealed a 35% increase in claims intimated over the year compared to 2011.
This included a 42% rise in GP claims while claims against hospital doctors fell slightly.
MDDUS joint head of medical division Dr Anthea Martin said: “Part of this overall increase can be attributed to our growing membership but, despite this, MDDUS has seen evidence of a rise in the frequency of claims against doctors over the last few years.”
The number of GMC cases also rose, with a 41% increase compared to 2011.
She said: “This rise in regulatory cases is consistent with figures reported by the GMC. It reflects a number of factors including a greater proportion of registrants now being reported to the regulator by employers or colleagues.”
‘Patient complaints’ were the most frequent reason for a doctor to contact our medical advisers and accounted for 21% of all calls.
Dr Martin said: “Cases of this nature include patients unhappy with a delay in treatment, alleged missed diagnosis, criticism of care provided and complaints by a family member of a deceased patient.”