Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Scott's Surgery

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Dr Scott's Surgery

Article excerpt

Byline: By Dr Mike Scott

Have a good moan. It might do you good

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt, speaking at a London conference recently, revealed proposals were on the way to make it easier for patients to complain about the standard of care received.

She is quoted as saying: "If NHS staff think ministers are demanding, just wait until the patients are in charge."

I find patients are usually much more reasonable than politicians, so this is likely to be an improvement. Thoughtful and fair complaints are a useful way of testing the way we work and can lead to improvements that benefit everyone.

I used to work for Marks & Spencer as a doctor and was impressed by how they taught that a complaint was an opportunity to impress and improve. In the NHS we have tended to be more defensive and less open.

We used to close our surgery for lunch, which led to a degree of dissatisfaction from some people. We listened to their complaints and decided to stay open 8. …

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