Increasing incidents of abuse as the healthcare system braces itself for a busy winter period

Incidents of verbal abuse, aggressive behaviour and staff attacks at GP practices across our region are on the rise and having a serious impact on the wellbeing and mental health of our healthcare professionals. This comes at a time when they are working harder than ever to cope with the ongoing pandemic and subsequent rise in demand for healthcare services and planning for the busy winter period.

Staff describe a growing volume of verbal abuse being faced at work when they are simply trying to do their job and care for others. We ask that you please be patient and bear with us if you find our phone lines are taking longer than usual to answer or you are asked to wait a little longer for routine appointments. We understand your frustrations and appreciate your patience and ask that you treat our staff trying to help you with kindness. 

Dr Lalitha Iyer, Executive Medical Director at Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group advised “patients who contact their GP practice will be assessed to decide whether they will need to be seen in person by a clinician or via a telephone consultation, or whether they need to be directed to other healthcare services. This helps us to keep our patients safe and makes sure the people with the greatest need are seen first. This also makes sure our patients see the person who is best placed to care for them. We are doing our best in difficult circumstances and firmly believe a good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care”.

We have a zero-tolerance policy on staff abuse and with the increase in unacceptable incidents over recent months, remind all our patients that treatment may be refused, and further action taken against anyone who threatens the safety of our staff.