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Staff attitude is most common reason for complaints against Redbridge GPs

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 September 2019

Hundreds of complaints were made last year against Redbridge GPs. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin

Hundreds of complaints were made last year against Redbridge GPs. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hundreds of written complaints were made against GP surgeries in Redbridge last year, new figures show.

Across England, many complaints related to difficult communication with surgeries, with the British Medical Association saying issues are caused by doctors too stretched to spend enough time with patients.

NHS Digital figures show that 223 written complaints were made against doctors' surgeries in the NHS Redbridge CCG in 2018-19.

Of the 215 resolved - some were carried forward or left until the next year - 22per cent were fully upheld, and 14pc partially upheld.

The most common reason for complaints against GP surgeries in the area was staff attitude.

Cases in which no staff were involved or staff were categorised as other were the most common subject of complaints, mentioned in 33pc of new cases - followed by administrative staff including receptionists (32pc) and GPs (22pc).

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While NHS Digital said that data quality issues meant complaints could not be compared year-on-year, the figures show that 264 written complaints were submitted against GPs in the Redbridge CCG in 2017-18.

Across England, nearly 93,000 complaints were made against primary care givers in 2018-19. For GPs, they most commonly cited communications or staff attitudes, behaviour and values.

The British Medical Association's GP committee chairman, Dr Richard Vautrey, said: "This survey shows much of the dissatisfaction felt by patients stems from communication problems, rather than clinical errors, and doctors know that they simply don't have enough time to spend with their patients and cope with rising demand, with the risk that communication issues could arise."

One GP surgery, Loxford Practice, received 34 written complaints last year. None of them were upheld.

NHS dentists in the CCG received a further 44 written complaints in 2018-19 - 33 were fully upheld and seven partially.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "As a profession, we are facing immense workforce pressures with a huge increase in patient numbers coupled with a shortage of doctors to care for them. Inevitably, this will occasionally impact on the service we can deliver, and this can be frustrating for patients - and for GPs."

Redbridge CCG declined to comment.

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