The increase in regulation is driving general practice staff to be more "proactive" in responding to patient concerns, it is claimed.
Medical defence organisation MDDUS reported a rise of 5% in members seeking advice on medico-legal matters during 2011, with patient complaints accounting for the most common reason for contact (22% of all contacts).
Nine percent of such enquiries were regarding confidentiality and 7% relating to claims for compensation.
MDDUS medical adviser Dr Barry Parker partly attributes the rise in calls to the increase in general practice regulation.
"Doctors appear to be more risk aware and proactive in dealing with potential problems [due to the increased regulation]," he said.
Dr Parker also said the number of calls relating to raising concerns about professional colleagues and suspected child abuse cases are on the rise.
"Quite agree RJ-M [below], it's £££££ what most complainers see, easy money" – Marie, Lancs
"Because of advertisement of no win no claim companies PUSHING people into making claims. People are strapped for cash and if they can make some money this way, it's sort of understandable to a certain extent" – Ruth James-Morse, Lambeth