MP to press for changes on GP staff complaints

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The Independent Online
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A BIRMINGHAM GP who struck two families off his list after they had disagreements with his receptionist wife, has provoked calls for an independent body to handle complaints about doctors' staff.

The Family Health Services Authority can investigate complaints about doctors but not their employees. These are passed back to the GP, as their employer.

But for Jill Johnson, and her sister Carol Timmis, this system resulted in their being struck off Dr Barrie Kenyon's list because their complaint was about the indifferent and hostile attitude of Mrs Kenyon. They claimed she appeared bored and irritated with their request, last September, for nursing help for their 82-year-old father, Walter Chawner, who was bedridden and incontinent after a major stroke. When another sister, Madeline Tanner, remonstrated, Mrs Kenyon allegedly agreed with her statement that she did not care whether he lived or died.

After the family complained to the FHSA, Dr Kenyon took them, and eight relatives, off his list. He also struck off their father, although he had died by then. Jeff Rooker, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, has taken up the case and hopes to amend the NHS Complaints Bill, expected in the autumn, to enable the FHSA to take action in such situations.