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Complaints about behaviour of doctors increase

The Medical Council received 361 complaints about doctors last year. This accounts for one in every 49 doctors on the register of medical practitioners and was a 22% increase on the previous year.

Most complaints related to professional standards, treatment, poor communication and rudeness, or a failure to provide medical records.

In 83pc of cases, the council decided there was no need to hold a full inquiry.

The chief executive of the Medical Council, Caroline Spillane, said that the council expects the number of complaints to increase in the coming years as the council undertakes extensive communications activities to make the public more aware of its role and processes.

“It is important that both the public and the profession are confident in the transparency, robustness and fairness of the council’s processes. In addition, our systems must be accessible to the public to ensure that they are encouraged to highlight any perceived shortfall in the standard of care they receive," she said.