HC Deb 26 July 1999 vol 336 cc37-8W
Mr. Crausby

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received about the procedure available to investigate complaints against doctors; and if he will make a statement. [92637]

Mr. Denham

The procedures for investigating complaints against doctors generate much interest and are regularly the subject of correspondence. Complaints often involve complex assessments of clinical judgments which require expert review. Detailed guidance has been provided to National Health Service employers for the handling of complaints and any disciplinary action which needs to be taken as a result. Investigations need to be dealt with as quickly as possible. They should balance the employer's responsibility to protect the interests of patients with the need to ensure fair treatment for the doctor complained against.