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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Care strategy is derided by GPs

It is a fact of modern life that people are complaining more. Society is getting more consumerist, people's expectations are rising and they are less prepared to settle for second best. GPs can accept this and are prepared to deal fairly with the complaints they receive. But there are two things they cannot accept.

The first is that the Government constantly stresses patient choice and patients' rights, yet says nothing about patients' responsibilities. This has contributed to a rising tide of vexatious complaints.

The second problem is that too little action is taken to strike out these complaints quickly. PCTs are failing to handle cases locally, leaving complaints to hang over GPs for months, even years.

The system increasingly favours the patient, rather than being fair to both sides.

The Government must act to redress this balance and to force PCTs to do their job, so GPs can get on with doing theirs.

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