Complaints procedures faced by doctors risk harming patients, study suggests

ComplaintsA study by one of Surgery & Cancer’s Adjunct Professors, Prof Tom Bourne has been looking into how complaints procedures faced by doctors risk harming patients.

Doctors who go through complaints procedures experience high rates of serious depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, according to a new study.

Four out of five doctors also reported changing the way they treat their patients as a result of either complaints against themselves, or observing a colleague go through a complaints process.

The authors of the research say that by causing psychological ill health and encouraging defensive practice, the processes designed to hold doctors to account are having negative consequences for patients.

The findings come from a survey of 7,926 doctors published in BMJ Open. Read complete story here.

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