It goes without saying that no one in the medical profession would condone insulting behaviour by doctors. Unfortunately, in a service as large as the National Health Service, rudeness does occur; and if there were only a handful of cases, this would be a handful too many. But let us get this into perspective. There are one million contacts every day between GPs and patients and the vast majority are based on high-quality care and are conducted to the satisfaction of both parties.
I have been a family doctor in Liverpool for 37 years and I can honestly say that cases of rudeness by doctors have been exceptionally rare. I have never come across the sort of outlandish anecdotes you printed in your article - except at dinners where they have been doing the rounds in speeches for as long as I have been qualified.
Doctors today are aware of the changing relationship they now have with patients. It is now much more of a partnership and doctors realise that patients are no longer prepared to accept advice from the profession without question.
The measures that the profession is discussing to establish a revalidation scheme for doctors will include the issues of bedside manner and communications skills.
I have more confidence that this approach will bring about improvements in the present situation than I have in The Independent's decision to seek out and publish the worst cases.Reuse content