Complaints against NHS at record high

NHS complaints are at record high. Picture: TSPL

NHS complaints are at record high. Picture: TSPL

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NHS Scotland has received a record 800 complaints a month about claims of poor treatment. Figures show almost 10,000 complaints were made hospital and community health services in 2010/11, the highest number for ten years.

The Scottish NHS data was revealed in a new General Medical Council report which shows complaints about doctors have hit a record high, with patients more prepared to raise concerns about their treatment.

The figures show there were 9980 complaints raised in 2010/11 across NHS professions – a 26 per cent rise over ten years. Some 36 per cent of the complaints were about treatment, with 34 per cent about staff.

While the GMC said the rise in complaints does not mean medical standards are falling, the likelihood the medical regulators will investigate a British doctor increased from one in 68 in 2010 to one in 64 in 2011. Among the UK complaints there was a significant rise in concerns about how doctors interacted with patients.

The Patients’ Association, the watchdog that aims to tackle causes of poor care, said it was particularly concerned about rises in complaints about communication and lack of respect.