Institutional collusion to keep patients silent

Harrow GP surgeries need to offer high quality services which meet users demands, manage expectations and be responsive to meet the needs of the different communities in Harrow, finds the Healthwatch research, commissioned by the Harrow council ‘to gain an understanding of patients and service users experience of GP services within the borough’.
The research report recommends that surgeries address patients’ frustrations as many lack awareness of the health care services or how to access these or how to complain about their GP.
Raising patient awareness to complain is important but what is more important is to give them rights to deal with any backlash to their complaint, like GP removing them from the practice list – victimisation difficult to prove but does happen.
We support the Harrow Council for Justice initiative asking for more and better patient rights. In a letter to the Commons health select committee, they said:
‘We would like to draw your attention to the NHS England Standard General Medical Services Contract 2015/16 (GMS) and its interpretation by David Lock QC.
As you would see from the section 13 of the GMS and section 11 of the QC report, a GP has absolute powers to remove a patient from the practice list (reference here is not the removal of the patient because of violent, or threatening to be violent, towards a GP or practice staff which it is different matter). GPs are at lib to determine their own ‘good reasons’ for the removal action and there is no mechanism to challenge it, not even through the Ombudsman action.
The NHS practice contract gives the patient no right to object to the proposed removal or to challenge the factual basis of the decision to remove him or her from the practice list.  The provisions in the contract treat this mater as being solely to be decided between the practice and NHS England.  Neither the GMS Regulations nor the GMS contract gives any legal right to the patient to object to being removed from a practice list.
It is therefore difficult if not impossible to see how a patient could construct a cause of public law action arising out of the decision of a GP practice to remove a patient from their list of registered patients.  The patient’s only remedies appear to be to sue in defamation or to complain to the GMC.
Such a denial of rights to a patient is against the natural justice with serious Human Rights implications!
Institutional collusion to keep patients silent is highly concerning.
We would appreciate if you could take up this matter with the legislators, with a view to make legislative changes to allow patients a right to seek a review or appeal against the GP’s decision to remove them from the practice list’.