THE NUMBER of GMC complaints against doctors reached its highest level ever in 2010 along with a record number of investigations and fitness to practise hearings.
According to its 2010 annual statistics report, the GMC received 7,153 complaints in 2010, compared with 5,773 in 2009. It launched more than 2,000 investigations in 2010, an 18% increase from 2009, and the number of fitness to practise hearings also increased from 270 in 2009 to 326 in 2010.
A total of 92 doctors were erased from the medical register for disciplinary reasons in 2010, the largest ever annual total. A further 106 doctors were suspended from the register by fitness to practise panels.
Niall Dickson, the Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, said: "Our job is to protect patients. Taking firm action with doctors who are failing to meet our standards is an important part of doing that job.
"But the rise in complaints and investigations does not mean that standards of medical practice are falling. Our research shows that doctors and their employers are now much more likely to raise concerns about their medical colleagues - this is a welcome development."