The General Medical Council received 8,781 complaints in 2011, an increase of 23% from 2010. A total of 3,465 investigations were completed by the GMC, resulting in 65 doctors being erased from the register. The most common allegations included substandard treatment, financial deception, false and misleading reporting, incomplete medical records, failure to cooperate with an investigation, and fraud.

One doctor in 64 was investigated in 2011, compared with one in 68 in 2010. Over a working career, this means that every doctor has a significant chance of being investigated by the GMC.

NHS complaints about doctors far exceeded those for other staff groups. Male doctors and those who qualified over 20 years ago were represented disproportionately, as were those in general practice, psychiatry and surgery.

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