Complaints about GP Practices

Mushroom made this Freedom of Information request to Westminster Primary Care Trust (PCT)

The request was partially successful.

From: Mushroom

23 July 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am requesting a breakdown of how many complaints have been made
by patients about general practitioners or their surgeries over the
past 10 years and how of these complaints have been:

a) Settled
b) Resulted in de-registration
c) Resulted with the complaint escalating to the General Medical
Council

Yours faithfully,

Sasha Watson BSc (Hons)

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From: Nicola Bourne

24 July 2009

Dear Ms Watson,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 23 July in which you have requested information under the Freedom of Information Act.

We are considering your request and you will receive a reply within 20 working days as stipulated by the Act.

Yours sincerely

Nicola Bourne
NHS Westminster
15 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5JD

Tel: 020 7150 8260
Fax: 020 7150 8262

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From: Nilusha Phigera

19 August 2009

Dear Ms Watson,

I am writing in response to your request for information under the Freedom
of Information Act, dated 23 July, which NHS Westminster received on 24
July, and which we have previously acknowledged.

We are happy to answer your request but do need to clarify that, as NHS
Westminster was only established in 2002, our data only goes back to that
date rather than the last ten years as requested. I also need to confirm
that we do not keep a record of the number of complaints made about GPs
that are then reported to the GMC. We are therefore unable to provide
that information.

We can, however, confirm the number of GP complaints received, how many
were resolved and how many were about being de-registered from a practice
list. That information is as follows:

2002/3: 48 complaints, 42 resolved and 5 about de-registration.

2003/4: 49 complaints, 41 resolved and 4 about de-registration.

2004/5: 40 complaints, 34 resolved and 5 about de-registration.

2005/6: 40 complaints, 37 resolved and 8 about de-registration.

2006/7: 48 complaints, 42 resolved and 9 about de-registration.

2007/8: 43 complaints, 34 resolved and 1 about de-registration.

2008/9: 43 complaints, 34 resolved and 3 about de-registration.

Yours sincerely,

Nilusha Phigera
Complaints and Corporate Affairs Officer
NHS Westminster
15 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5JD
T: 020 7150 8259
F: 020 7150 8262

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From: Mushroom

23 August 2009

Dear Nilusha Phigera,

Since the GMC contact the PCT for information, surely it would be
in the best interest of the public that the PCT request that the
GMC provide details of any action/s taken against any GP complained
about for the PCT's records.

Yours sincerely,

Sasha Watson BSc (Hons)

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From: Nilusha Phigera

23 August 2009

Thank you for your e-mail. I am out of the office until Monday 24 August.

If you have an urgent query, please contact Nicola Bourne, Complaints and Corporate Affairs Secretary on 020 7150 8260. If not, I will respond to your email on my return.

Many thanks

Best wishes,
Nilusha

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From: Nilusha Phigera

26 August 2009

Dear Ms Watson,

The point you make here is different to the question which you previously
asked.

I can clarify that, if a patient does contact the GMC about a GP, the GMC
will notify NHS Westminster and ask for further information from us. The
GMC will then let us know what, if any, action they are going to take.

While we have a record of all contacts from the GMC, we do not record how
many patients have approached the GMC after originally making a
complaint. We do not keep that level of detail.

I hope that helps to clarify matters.

Yours sincerely,

Nilusha Phigera
Complaints and Corporate Affairs Officer
NHS Westminster
15 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5JD
T: 020 7150 8259
F: 020 7150 8262

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From: Mushroom

30 August 2009

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Westminster Primary
Care Trust (PCT)'s handling of my FOI request 'Complaints about GP
Practices'.

Yours faithfully,

Sasha Watson BSc (Hons)

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From: Brian Jordan

2 September 2009

Dear Mrs Watson,

In order for NHS Westminster to review the handling of your recent freedom of information request, it will be necessary for you to clarify why you are unhappy with our response.

I have seen Mrs Phigera's reply to you dated 19 August, and the further information which she gave to you in relation to the GMC on 26 August. Please confirm what information you feel you have requested and which we have not supplied.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Jordan
Complaints and Corporate Affairs Manager
NHS Westminster

15 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5JD

(T) 020 7150 8258
(F) 020 7150 8262

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From: Mushroom

3 September 2009

Dear Mr. Jordan,

In response to your letter, it has not been clarified as to why the
PCT has not kept the number of complaints made to the GMC about
GP's and the reasons of why those patients made those complaints.

Had the PCT kept these records they would provide a wider spectrum
of which GP's have caused problems for their listed patients. This
type of information would be vital for the NHS when reviewing and
or renewing contracts.

The PCT are acting irresponsibly by not monitoring poor GP
practices performance or whether their Practice Managers are fully
qualified to hold those posts or whether those practices are
actually fulfilling the terms of their NHS contracts.

The NHS published records shows that Westminster patients overall
care not to respond to patient satisfaction questionnaires most
probably as they are being put into the position of should they
complain their GP practice will take it out on them.

Whilst the PCT are not keeping such records, renewing contracts is
being done so without any form of scrutiny.

Any GP that may have been warned, struck off or have a criminal
record which may or may not be highlighted by the GMC infers that
the PCT are recklessly renewing contracts and deliberately putting
vulnerable and indeed any patient at risk.

Without records being kept the PCT are brushing off their
responsibilities towards protecting their parents.

Yours sincerely,

Sasha Watson BSc (Hons)

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From: Brian Jordan

8 September 2009

Dear Mrs Watson,

What you are now asking for is different to what you first requested.

You asked how many complaints, which were about GPs, were escalated to the GMC. To quote your e-mail of 23 July, you said:

"I am requesting a breakdown of how many complaints have been made by patients about general practitioners or their surgeries over the past 10 years and how of these complaints have been:

a) Settled b) Resulted in de-registration c) Resulted with the
complaint escalating to the General Medical Council"

You now appear to be asking for the number of complaints made to the GMC, which are then passed to the PCT, and the reasons for those complaints? Please confirm if this is what you want and we will be happy to consider your request. You may also wish to approach the GMC directly for this information.

I would also like to add that NHS Westminster does, of course, monitor the quality of services about GP practices in a number of ways. This does include information highlighted through complaints.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Jordan
Complaints and Corporate Affairs Manager
NHS Westminster

15 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5JD

(T) 020 7150 8258
(F) 020 7150 8262

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From: Mushroom

19 September 2009

Dear Mr. Jordan,

Yes, this is correct, kindly provide these details.

Yours sincerely,

Sasha Watson BSc (Hons)

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From: Brian Jordan

19 September 2009

Thank you for your e-mail. I am out of the office until Tuesday 22 September and will reply to your e-mail on my return. If your enquiry is urgent, please contact Catherine Milner on 020 7150 8235 or [email address].

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From: Nicola Bourne

22 September 2009

Dear Ms Watson,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail dated 19 September originally addressed to Brian Jordan in which you have requested information under the Freedom of Information Act.

We are considering your request and you will receive a reply within 20 working days as stipulated by the Act.

Nicola Bourne
Complaints and Corporate Affairs Secretary NHS Westminster
15 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5JD

Tel: 020 7150 8260
Fax: 020 7150 8262

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From: Nilusha Phigera

29 September 2009

Dear Ms Watson,

I am writing with regards to your request for information below.

My colleague, who I have approached for the information you have
requested, has asked me to clarify the following with you:

* whether you are asking for the number of cases passed onto NHS
Westminster for further investigation, if appropriate, because the GMC
did not see the need to take things further under fitness to practice
procedures
* whether you are asking for the numbers of complaints to the GMC that
the GMC contact NHS Westminster about, for further information
* over what time period you require the information

I would be grateful if you could confirm what information it is that you
are requesting from NHS Westminster.

Yours sincerely

Nilusha Phigera
Complaints and Corporate Affairs Officer
NHS Westminster
15 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5JD
T: 020 7150 8259
F: 020 7150 8262

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From: Nilusha Phigera

10 November 2009

Dear Ms Watson,

I am writing further to my email of 29 September, in which I asked for clarification about your request for information. I have now closed your request as I am unable to provide you with the information you have requested until you respond to my email.

Yours sincerely,

Nilusha Phigera
Complaints and Corporate Affairs
NHS Westminster
15 Marylebone Road
London
NW1 5JD
T: 020 7150 8000
F: 020 7150 8262

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From: Mushroom

20 December 2009

Dear Nilusha Phigera,

The request is self-explanatory, kindly provide the answers as
requested.

Yours sincerely,

Sasha Watson BSc (Hons)

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From: Nilusha Phigera

20 December 2009

Thank you for your e-mail. I am out of the office on training on 14 - 18 December & annual leave following that, until 12 January 2010.

If you have an urgent query, please contact Nicola Bourne, Complaints and Corporate Affairs Secretary on 020 7150 8260. If not, I will respond to your email on my return.

If you are sending through a draft FOI response, please forward onto Justin Roper who will be dealing with FOIs in my absence ([email address]). Alternatively, he can be contacted on 020 7150 8258.

Please note that emails are not picked up in my absence.

Many thanks

Best wishes,
Nilusha

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From: Nilusha Phigera

21 January 2010

Dear Ms Watson,

Thank you for your email.

Your request for information may be self-explanatory to you; however, once
again I would like to reiterate that we cannot respond to your request
until you clarify the following:

* whether you are asking for the number of cases passed onto NHS
Westminster for further investigation, if appropriate, because the GMC
did not see the need to take things further under fitness to practice
procedures;
* or whether you are asking for the numbers of complaints to the GMC
that the GMC contact NHS Westminster about, for further information;
* and over what time period you require the information

Please respond so that we can reply fully to your request. If we do not
receive clarification from you, I will have no option but to close your
file.

Yours sincerely,

Nilusha Phigera

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