GPs have warned that the extent of verbal abuse directed at them and their practice staff ‘is increasing’, with the majority reporting that things are worse now than during the height of the Covid pandemic.

A UK-wide survey of more than 2,000 doctors found that 85% of GPs have reported receiving verbal abuse from patients within the last 12 months. 15% had to call the Police. 58% said abuse and aggression from patients was worse or much worse than before the pandemic.

Crimes involving harassment went up by 61% and public order by 15% while hate crimes associated with race or religion, including assault or inciting fear increased by 100%.

Four out of five of GPs about the detrimental impact of media and political discourse on the NHS and said that this has worsened their efforts to manage patient expectations.

Dr John Holden, a chief medical officer and a former GP, said that GPs shouldn’t bear the brunt of frustrations caused by systemic issues.

He said: ‘Nobody should go to work fearing verbal abuse or physical violence – especially those who dedicate their working lives to caring for others. GPs are often grappling with the dual challenge of a shortage of doctors and the weight of unrealistic patient expectations.

‘It’s crucial that policymakers up and down the UK recognise that there is a clear connection between adequate funding and support for primary care services and health professionals, and patient safety.’

Source: Pulse Today

What do you need to do?
  • Ensure security measures are in place to protect staff
  • Provide support to staff affected by these issues

Importance: For information

To discuss this issue or request any further assistance and support please contact: Jonathan Gladwin, Director of Anti-Crime Services; or your nominated Anti-Crime Specialist.