Increase in complaints against doctors

The General Medical Council (GMC) has said that complaints against doctors since 2009 has risen dramatically. There has been a 23%  rise in the last year. There were 8,781 in 2011 compared to 7,153 in 2010.
The highest amount of accusations were made about
 Male doctors
 Older doctors.
In the specialities the highest amount were against
 Psychiatrists
 GP’s
Surgeons
Grievances were mostly about treatment plans and investigation skills, but there was also a large number of objections about effective communication and respect for patients. These figures may not necessarily mean a fall in medical standards and could be that expectations are higher and people are far more likely to complain than in the past. Hopefully these complaints will keep the GMC diligent in it’s monitoring of standards and improving them as the levels of NHS health care and caring in general in the UK is a prominent topic.

Benefits Freeze – End Link with inflation

Yet again due to the countries financial predicament welfare benefits are to be possibly targetted by George Osbourne. He is trying to cut welfare benefits and costs by 10 billion by 2016.
The idea being that savings in these areas will lessen cuts in services such as schools and hospitals.
Ministers are now looking at ways to freeze benefits for two years. The Guardian disclosed under one option they could then allow some benefits to rise only in line with average earnings, rather than with inflation, which has increased at a higher rate in recent years. The changes, which were disclosed on Newsnight on Monday 17th September, could save up to £7 billion if applied to 90% of benefits.
No decisions have been made but ministers are understood to believe the effect could be lessened by limiting the changes to working-age and exempting others. Disability benefits and pensions could be left unchanged.
The Lib Dems who fought hard against the abandonment of the link to inflation in 2011 accept tough choices will have to be made, possibly by imposing a freeze on benefits but then retaining the inflation link.
We will have to wait for the chancellor’s autumn statement in two months time to hear the breakdown of the “difficult choices” that have to be made.