Family practice workers have said they face “daily and relentless” abuse from patients angry about the increase in remote appointments.
The comments come after GPs reacted with anger at new government plans to name and shame operations that do not provide adequate “access” as patients are given a new right to request face-to-face appointments.
Dr. Prakash Kachhala, 37, said a receptionist in his Nottinghamshire practice burst into tears Thursday morning over patient abuse on the phone.
“It’s daily and relentless,” said Dr. Kachhala of the PA news agency.
“Patients (are) frustrated, understandably, about waiting times and Covid precautions, but blame the hardworking staff trying to maintain a system in crisis.
“(I am) exhausted, deaf, heartbroken, angry, tired.”
Dr. Samantha Haley-Horfsall, a resident doctor in Leeds, described being yelled at by a relative of a patient.
“(There were) several questions like ‘Why don’t you see us?'” The 32-year-old told PA.
“Right now it’s incredibly difficult … constant hostility everywhere.”
Dr. Haley-Horfsall said she was on a Facebook group with “about 20,000” other doctors where she said there were “constant posts about people being abused in one way or another”.
Speaking on behalf of myGP, an app that lets you book doctor’s appointments and order prescriptions, Hillary Cannon said she heard from family doctors who said they “can’t protect their staff”.
“The employees don’t want to come to work … they are afraid of being abused,” said Ms. Cannon.
“The public needs to understand what the purpose of a family doctor is (and) what their workload actually is.”
“And they need a strong reminder that family doctors just saved us from this pandemic.
“You are thinking of young people who are currently doing an apprenticeship … how attractive is the family doctor profession for them?”
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