MDU reveals over 2,500 complaints made against doctors during pandemic, as GMC report published

The MDU has revealed it is busy supporting doctors with over 2,500 complaints and adverse incidents, including GMC cases.

Responding to today's publication of the GMC's report on the state of medical education and practice in the UK, Dr Caroline Fryar, MDU head of advisory services said:

"The latest report from the GMC on the state of medical education and practice illustrates the tremendous way UK doctors have adapted to the extreme challenges of working during a pandemic. We should all be immensely proud of the way the medical profession has stepped up to the mark during this tumultuous period.

"It is good news that as a result of some of the positive changes to workload, the risk of burnout has been reduced for some doctors, particularly GPs. However, doctors also need support with the challenges that lie ahead.

"We are concerned that doctors are facing a winter of discontent in terms of patient complaints, regulatory investigations and claims. This is reflected in the GMC’s findings that during 2020, two thirds (65%) of doctors found it difficult to provide a patient with a sufficient level of care, with that figure rising to four out of five (81%) GPs (page 53).

"At the MDU we are seeing this statistic translating into complaints from patients and relatives. We have opened well over 2,500 complaint and adverse incident case files from the start of lockdown to date and have seen a number of GMC cases. Many relate to the pandemic. We encourage members to get our support early on if they are aware of a potential complaint or adverse event.

"We are working with the GMC on members' behalf to encourage a fair and proportionate approach to regulation and we are encouraged by the changes already made to their processes. We also need the government to exempt all NHS healthcare professionals from COVID-19 related litigation, and the additional distress and anxiety it causes."

Read the GMC's report on the state of medical education and practice in the UK.

This page was correct at publication on 27/11/2020. Any guidance is intended as general guidance for members only. If you are a member and need specific advice relating to your own circumstances, please contact one of our advisers.