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Institute for General Practice Management campaign to stop GP practice staff being abused by the public
As many as three-quarters (75%) of practice staff receive abusive comments from patients daily, a survey has shown ahead of the launch of a new campaign to highlight the abuse.
The survey of 571 practice managers – conducted by the Institute for General Practice Management (IGPM) – found that the majority (83%) had needed to remove a patient following multiple incidents, and 63% had called the police because of abusive behaviour.
The survey findings coincide with the launch of a campaign from the IGPM to end all abuse towards general practice staff, marked with the release of a video featuring staff reading out examples of abuse they have received. These include verbal threats – including ‘If I die, it will be your fault’ and ‘I pay your wages so give me what I want’ – racist or sexist comments, and acts of violence, such as a patient slashing staff members’ tyres.
Dr Stevenson said of the campaign: “We really value the work of GPs in partnership with our trust, the major acute hospital in the Wirral health system.
“We all work together in the best interests of our patients. Just as our hospitals take a zero tolerance approach to physical and verbal threats against our staff, so we also stand together with primary care colleagues as they should not be subject to abuse. We know the last year or more has been tough for everyone, but we would urge all patients to please treat workers in healthcare with dignity and respect.”
Dr Paula Cowan, Chair for Wirral Health and Care Commissioning said: “In Wirral, NHS staff working in primary care, acute and community settings, work closely and collaboratively each day, in the best interest of our patients. Whilst the majority of our patients are supportive, and understanding, many NHS staff have to deal with verbal, physical and racial abuse on a daily basis.
“We know the last year has been difficult for everyone and recognise the effects of the pandemic on patients across the system as a whole and the frustrations it brings, but it cannot and must not be accepted as an excuse to abuse or assault NHS staff.
“This is why NHS Wirral stand together to take a zero-tolerance approach to physical and verbal threats against our staff, whatever the setting.
“Your GP practice is here to care for you and as we continue to provide services while the pandemic is still ongoing and cases are rising, please treat all workers in healthcare with dignity and respect, and stop the abuse and assaults on all NHS staff.”