Complaints can play a part in most professionals’ lives, albeit not a very welcome part. It has been estimated that about one in twenty doctors receive a formal written complaint each year, and countless others will know of a grievance or other expression of dissatisfaction within their practices. 

In the context of the number of services provided by doctors every year, very few complaints result in a formal complaint, and less than one in ten of these progresses to any disciplinary action against the medical practitioner. These figures emphasise that, while complaints against doctors are relatively frequent, formal disciplinary action against them is uncommon. 

Regardless, the receipt of a complaint may come as an unwelcome surprise but the anxiety of dealing with it will be lessened by having good procedures in place and by knowing how to seek assistance.