MDU ‘surprised’ by number of complaints during Covid-19 pandemic

The Medical Defence Union (MDU) is calling on the public to consider the additional pressure complaints about NHS Covid-19 care will put on services after more than 300 complaints were made against its members.

The medical defence organisation said the complaints it is been informed about were just the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Caroline Fryar, MDU head of advisory services, said the organisation was ‘really surprised’ by the number of complaints about the pandemic and the types of issues being raised.

‘Complaints numbers are a little down on what we’d normally see, but we expected a bigger drop given the public’s grateful recognition of the incredibly challenging circumstances our members are working in,’ she said.

Complaints related to the pandemic, many of which involve GP practices, include patients being unhappy about aspects of the shielding process; prescriptions for non-essential medication; being unable to see a doctor in person and issues relating to PPE.

‘We are concerned about the additional pressures on our members at a time of extraordinary upheaval when it’s far from business as usual. Even if complaints don’t need an immediate response during the pandemic, they’re diverting doctors’ attention and can cause additional stress for medical professionals. They and their colleagues need to be allowed to concentrate on providing a safe service for all patients,’ said Fryar.