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GMC investigations against GPs have more than doubled in the past year, figures from a medical defence body show.

The Medical Protection Society said 84 of its members had been investigated in the first quarter of 2005 compared with 37 in the same period last year.

The figures back GPs' claims of an increase in minor or vexatious complaints against them to the GMC.

Dr Iain Barclay, head of medical services at the MPS, said it was vital the GMC made a success of recently-

announced plans to weed out frivolous complaints and deal with cases more quickly.

'A proper triage system for complaints will protect patients by investigating relevant issues, while not demoralising good doctors to a point where they leave clinical practice,' Dr Barclay said.

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