Advising with empathy and experience

Partners in care?

A report published by The Patients Association entitled Patients and GPs - Partners in Care has raised an issue that it terms "One of the great unspoken scandals of the NHS".The report reveals that almost one in twenty patients who submit a formal complaint is struck off the GP registry list, leaving them to find a new GP. Additionally, the report indicates that one fifth of all complaints about GPs made to the Ombudsman relate to deregistration.

Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association said " Our research and evidence from our helpline indicated that there is a shockingly significant number of patients who have been removed from lists after making a complaint, but even more worryingly, there are many more who simply do not raise genuine concerns because they fear being taken off the list".

Dr Clare Gerada, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, accused The Patients Association of "unfairly criticising GPs" She asked for the numbers to be considered in the context of other formal and more representative studies.

Kim Daniells of the CNCI Team commented on the report and confirmed that it reflected the experience of many callers to the CNCI advice line " we regularly receive calls from patients who have concerns about the quality of service and treatment provided by their GP It is clear that many of these individuals are reluctant to raise concerns with the surgery or consider a formal complaint. They are worried about the repercussions for themselves and their families and dread the prospect of having to find a new GP. Sadly this means that some patients feel unable to enter in to any form of productive dialogue with their GPs. The implications for their healthcare and management are profound."