Even after the great bacon fiasco, the GMC still feel they do not hear enough of the authentic voice of patients complaining. So they have set up their own little website called "Patients Help". It comes in pink for the girls, blue for the boys and in Welsh for people who don't speak English.
This contradicts the GMC's policy of dealing with complaints locally.
Research shows that the more publicity you give to suicide bombers, the more suicide bombers come forward. Israel found this to her cost, to the point that now, suicide bombers are given only minimum publicity. I suspect the same applies to complaining patients, the more attention they are given, the more publicity and opportunities they are offered, the more patients complain.
Encouraging patients to complain does not solve the problem of poorly performing doctors. Patient complaints rarely relate to a doctor's standard of care. So what is the game? If they think creating units of action and meeting targets (350 convicted doctors a year) raises standards, the GMC needs to read Peter Seddon's book. Freedom from Command and Control, - an easy read despite its title.
The GMC undermines confidence in the medical profession and brings it into disrepute by encouraging more people to complain. In football, this is called an own goal. For the medical profession, it shows the GMC shooting doctors in both feet and the head and using doctors' money to buy the bullets.
If the GMC wants to be trusted, it needs to be worthy of respect. It needs to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, not set up kangaroo courts to shoot high profile doctors. It is old enough to know better.
Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Millerhttp://www.drlizmiller.co.uk