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Older patients feel less comfortable complaining about their GP

Older patients feel less comfortable with making a complaint about their GP than younger patients, according to a Government survey.

According to a survey of over 1,000 adults aged 16 and over in England, almost three quarters would feel comfortable about making a complaint about their GP.

However, only 56% of patients aged 75 or over would feel comfortable about making a GP complaint. This is compared with 76% of 16 to 24 year olds.

Overall the survey, which was conducted by Ipsos Mori for the Department of Health in 2015 but only released today, shows an increase in the proportion of people agreeing that it is easy for people to feed back on NHS services.

The survey said: ‘The proportion of people who agree that it is easy for people to feed back on the service they receive from the NHS is at the highest level recorded since the question was first asked, increasing from 43% in winter 2014 to 48% in winter 2015.

‘This has been accompanied by a drop in the proportion of people who disagree it is easy to feed back (from 36% in winter 2014 to 29% in winter 2015).’

This comes as official data revealed in September that written complaints increased by 9.7% compared to the year before, with GP leaders attributing the increase in part to GPs 'buckling under the pressures of a huge increase in patient numbers but a shortage of doctors to care for them'.

But it comes as Professor Clare Gerada, a GP expert in burnout, last week called for more support for doctors facing a patient complaint, claiming ‘complaints kill doctors’.

Readers' comments (9)

  • We now need a wall to wall campaign encouraging people to complain........I mean feedback......about GPs......

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  • MyBad

    What can we do to make it easier for older people to complain? We really need to be doing all we can to increase the number of complaints received. Thank god for all the complaining younger people. The future looks bright. The future will all be about complaints.

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  • MyBad

    ...just think how much more dissatisfied all those youngsters will be when they get old and really have something to moan about..woa the complains will really get going then. Can’t wait. Thank god I’ll probably be in a care home by then...by the sounds of it I’ll likly be complaining about something

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  • Great research, fabulous use of public money....
    Maturity trumps the gobby entitled young, shock

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  • The older generation probably remember pre-NHS years when they had to pay,hence appreciating the NHS

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  • Doctor McDoctor Face

    They need resilience training

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  • Good. Too much of our time is dealt dealing with the fact that people think the NHS should be like a free Tesco supermarket, and complain if their Apples aren't perfectly round.

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  • Counselling needed....solves all problems according to the pen pushers. We should have a system that automatically refers people to this when they complain.

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  • Perhaps we should learn something from the older generation? Complaints are doing huge damage to this profession and have been allowed to create an entirely unregulated industry that feeds of the misery.

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