AvMA welcomes Ombudsman Report on GP Complaint Handling

Published: 18 Mar 2016

Action against Medical Accidents welcomes the report on GPs’ complaint handling published today (18th March).

Speaking at a conference in London where the report will be launched, AvMA chief executive Peter Walsh will call for a more rigorous approach to supporting GP practices to conform with their statutory obligations for complaint handling and the Duty of Candour (the legal requirement to be open and honest with patients when things go wrong), and tougher regulatory action where GP practices fail to comply.

AvMA chief executive Peter Walsh said:

“The Ombudsman’s report confirms our experience from the cases we hear about through our helpline and casework. The standard of complaints handling in GP practices is far too inconsistent.

“We still hear about cases of patients being struck off a GP’s list if they complain, or being threatened with this. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of complaints handing in general practice and to raise awareness of statutory requirements such as the Duty of Candour.

“There should be openness and honesty whenever something goes wrong and this would negate the need for many complaints or legal claims. Although the Duty of Candour was brought in for GPs almost a year ago there is a lack of awareness about it. There needs to be a programme of training and also a more rigorous approach by the regulator, the Care Quality Commission, when GP practices fail to comply with the Duty of Candour or the complaints regulations.”