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GPs account for less than 14% of NHS complaints

GPs attract less than 14% of all complaints received by the NHS, new figures published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show, despite being responsible for up to 90% of care.

HSCIC’s report, Data on Written Complaints in the NHS 2013-14, showed that GPs attracted 24,405 complaints – roughly 13.9% of the 174,872 received by the NHS in total.  

Clinical issues made up the bulk of complaints for GPs, accounting for around one in three complaints. This was followed by complaints about communication and attitude (21.6%), GP administration (20.4%) and other surgery management and premises-related complaints (21.6%).

The data for the report was collected by NHS England local area teams, who in turn collected the information online from individual practices.

Around 77% of the GP practices are thought to have submitted information. As this is the first year that data has been collected from individual GP practices, there is no data to compare it to from previous years.

HSCIC chair Kingsley Manning said that overall, the figures showed an increase in the number of written complaints received by the NHS, which currently stands at around 480 per day.

He added: ‘Today’s report also shows a rise over the last year in the number of written complaints made against NHS hospitals and community services. I’m sure staff who manage NHS complaints will want to pay close attention to these statistics.’