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Increasing complaints against Scotland’s doctors

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

The General Medical Council (GMC) has newly published figures that reveal a drastic increase in complaints issued against doctors practising in Scotland. The GMC’s figures disclosed an increase in serious complaints between 2007 and 2012 — with 69 cases being recognised in 2007, and 126 last year.

The figures were published after Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon posed a question in parliament concerning the quality of Scotland’s health care. 

  • The figures revealed that out of the 54 ‘fitness to practice’ hearings — between 2007-2012 — eight doctors were banned from practising as a result
  • The figures also showed that a total of 590 “stream one” investigations — which are the most serious — were carried out since 2007
  • They also revealed that 562 “stream two” investigations — a less serious complaint — were carried out in the same time period, including 82 last year

Chief Executive Niall Dickson said: “More complaints doesn’t necessarily mean healthcare is getting worse. It may mean that problems are being identified and reported.

Mr. Dickson saw the positive in the newly released statistics, arguing that the medical culture amongst doctors, nurses etc. has changed, and that health workers are more willing to discuss their concerns today than they were previously. He believes that this rise in complaints is constructive and progressive in the sense that it allows problems to be tackled quickly and effectively.

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