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We have to stop making excuses for abusive patients


And the Achilles' heel of all this is that if the patient decides to make a complaint to the CCG, as like as not the doctor will be hauled in for criticism: ditto the GMC; and ditto the ombudsman (to say nothing of the media). Yet we cannot be expected to show discipline and strength (including toeing the party line over, say, prescriptions) if those managing us always cave in and assume that the doctor is always wrong. Indeed, the patient wins even if the professional(technically) wins, because with a bit of luck (according to the patient) responding to the allegation of unprofessional behavior will cause you so many sleepless nights, and waste so much of your precious time that that of itself with be punishment enough as far as the really unpleasant patient is concerned (and will also tend to make you never want to do it again). Yes, there are some GPs and staff at fault out there and I don't want to sound as though I am standing up for them inappropriately -- but we need a complaints situation which is truly even-handed, whereby if the doctor is deemed to be not guilty of the subject of a formal complaint, then ALL the costs of the hearing (including the doctors legal fees) have to be paid by the patient, AND there is a 'victim surcharge' that they also have to pay. The bottom line is this: complaints cannot ever be one-sided, but at the moment the boot is far too far on the side of the over-demanding patient.

Posted date

14 Jul 2018

Posted time