Message from the Partners and Practice Manager- 28/06/2023

Posted by: cherylmair - Posted on:

It has come to our attention that there have been some recent unpleasant comments against the practice and staff on Social Media.

We are experiencing rising levels of abuse directed at staff working at the practice which has a devastating and long-lasting effect on staff health and wellbeing. Consequentially this impacts our retention and recruitment, and also takes our Partners and our Management Team spending their time on recruiting and training new staff rather than focusing on the practice and patient care. Abuse of individuals whether physical or otherwise is not acceptable in any society. Not least as the individuals to which the abuse is directed towards, are doing their best, under difficult circumstances, to support patients.

As an organisation we are committed to introducing measures, through the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy and relevant guidelines, to reduce risk and have procedures in place that will enable staff to manage appropriately should an abusive (shouting/swearing/inappropriate attitude etc.), aggressive, or violent situation arise.

Staff should not be abused, threatened or attacked (including verbally) at work.

We understand securing an appointment and getting through on the phone can be difficult and we have put measures in place to improve this. Due to supporting services available to primary care, some appointments are unable to be booked online due to the need of care navigation, this ensure that patients are consulted with by the most appropriate healthcare professional in the most appropriate timeframe. These include Clinical Pharmacists, Paramedics, Social Prescribers, First Contact Practitioners (physio), Mental Health Practitioners, Nurses, and Health Care Assistants, all of which support our GPs. It is for this reason that we ask our highly trained reception team to request a brief reason for your appointment – in confidence.

We subsequently ask that patients:

1. Be respectful of all practice staff

2. Tone down their criticism of the practice

3. Present factual matters rather than misinform which is more often the case – particularly when using social media

Continued efforts to abuse our staff will not be tolerated. We will issue letters of warning to patients who continue to direct their abuse at our staff. We will then, if matters persist, be left with no option than to remove abusive patients from our service.