Annual competency checks – aimed at 1000 GP’s subject to serious concerns

Yes, we all love the NHS. Yes, we believe all doctors and nurses are wonderful and 100 cent committed to their job. No, we hate the compensation culture.

Or at least that appears to be the generally held view. However any closer examination of the real situation, shows quite clearly that despite the fact that the vast majority of medical staff are competent and committed, a small number of doctors and other medical staff are simply incompetent – and it’s those poor quality doctors who give rise to many medical negligence claims.

No it’s not just the rant of another grumpy medical negligence solicitor – much of this comes from the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Today he has announced that every GP must be subject to an appraisal and competency check each year. The Health Secretary confirmed that in a survey of 300 different health bodies, “serious concerns” were raised about 0.7% of GPs. That may not sound much of a problem – until you do the maths. Given that there are 175,000 doctors in the UK, 0.7% adds up to a staggering 1000 dodgy doctors. So the government appeared to be accepting the fact that 1000 doctors nationwide have a real level of incompetence. On making a further simple calculation on how many patients each GP sees on average every day [ given how quick the average consultation is, estimates are that the average GP might see perhaps 20 or even 25 patients daily], there is clearly an absolutely enormous number of people who are being treated by substandard doctors each and every day.

The government doesn’t like to admit it – and blames the so-called compensation culture – but the latest move proves, without doubt, that far too many of our GPs are simply not up to scratch – they are mis-diagnosing and making errors in drug prescriptions and treatment on a huge level. That is why medical negligence compensation claims are made and that’s why we are proud, not embarrassed, to ensure that victims of medical errors are properly compensated and that doctors, medical practices and hospitals are encouraged to ensure adequate levels of doctor competency.

Despite what government says publicly about the so-called “compensation culture”, medical negligence solicitors and governments are pushing for the same outcome – better treatment of patients.