The number of complaints against doctors has doubled since 2007, according to new figures from the General Medical Council (GMC).
Complaints are also up 24 per cent year-on-year, with 8,109 recorded in 2012.
However, the doctors' regulator said that the increase did not mean that medical standards were falling. Higher patient expectations and a greater willingness on the part of doctors themselves to speak out if they had concerns about a colleague were behind the increase, the GMC said.
One third of complaints led to a formal investigation, according to the GMC's third annual State of Medical Education and Practice report
GPs are more likely to receive complaints than any other doctor, and male doctors were twice as likely as female doctors to prompt complaints.
Professor Sir Peter Rubin, Chair of the General Medical Council, said: “Overall the standard of care that patients receive in the UK is good and doctors continue to deserve the trust and respect of the public…Complaints […] give the health service a chance to reflect and improve the care that patients receive.”