General physician (GP) surgeries in the UK may have their funding cut from the Department of Health if patients issue complaints, under new rules published by the government.

Doctors who receive negative feedback from their patients could see the funding for their services slashed by tens of thousands of pounds, under the new GP Patient Survey.

For an average practice of three GPs with 5,800 patients the cuts could be around £7,000, while larger practices could lose £25,000 and total costs are expected to be more than £10m, Nursing Times reports.

Meanwhile, GPs have appealed against the income reduction and warned that it will result in fewer appointments, reduction in working hours and a delay in the expansion of services.