New figures released by the General Medical Council (GMC) reveal that the number of complaints against doctors has soared over the last three years.
According to the figures, the number of complaints rose by more than 23 percent from 7,153 in 2010 to 8,781 in 2011 while one doctor in 64 is being investigated by the regulator. Psychiatrists, GPs and surgeons were complained against the most with more than three-fourths of the complaints being against male and older doctors.
Some of the most common complaints include treatment plans, lack of respect towards the patients, lack of communication and investigative skills.
Claiming that the rise in complaints should not be seen as falling standards of medical practice, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said, "We have been trying to understand why this number is going up, and we have a whole series of reasons why it may be. Firstly, there is better monitoring of medical practice. Secondly, doctors certainly are more willing to speak out and less willing to tolerate behaviour than they were a generation ago."