According to the General Medical Council (GMC), the number of complaints against doctors has doubled in the past five years.

The figures reveal there were over 8,100 complaints in 2012, compared with less than 4,000 in 2007. Of the complaints made last year, 2,673 led to a full investigation by the regulator.

The rise in complaints comes in the wake of the Stafford Hospital crisis, one of the worst scandals to ever hit the NHS.

But despite the upwards trend in complaints, Healthwatch England says many issues are still going unreported. In a survey, the patient watchdog found that half of those who had experienced problems did not report it.

The GMC reiterated the concerns raised by Healthwatch England, saying that often patients do not know how to make a formal complaint.

Professor Sir Peter Rubin, GMC chairman, said: “Overall the standard of care that patients receive in the UK is good and doctors continue to deserve the trust and respect of the public.

“What our report shows is that some patients don’t know where to go to raise a concern about their treatment and more needs to be done to help them raise issues.”

Do you have a complaint against the NHS?

You have a right to make a complaint against the NHS, have your complaint investigated and receive a full and prompt reply. If you would like to do so, you need to speak to a member of staff, contact the complaints department or look on the organisation’s website. Every NHS organisation has a slightly different procedure, so the process will vary from place to place.

If you are not happy with the response you receive, you can take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman who will investigate the matter further. Alternatively, if you think you have been injured because of medical incompetence, you can always speak to a solicitor about your options. It may be that you are the innocent victim of medical negligence, meaning you will be able to pursue a claim against the doctor or NHS organisation in question.

Contact us today to speak to a solicitor about claiming compensation for medical negligence.

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