Responding to a survey of GPs from Pulse magazine1 which found that three-quarters of respondents had experienced verbal abuse on a weekly basis, Dr Kieran Sharrock, acting chair of the BMA’s England GP committee said:
“Any kind of abuse against GPs and their teams is completely unacceptable. No one should ever go into work fearing that they will be abused, let alone physically.
“We understand that patients are often in pain and distress when they interact with the health service, and that current pressures and a lack of staff mean it can take longer to access the care they need. However, we cannot let people take their frustrations with the system out on those who are just doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.
“Abusive behaviour ultimately has a huge impact on morale within practice teams, and makes staff question whether they want to stay in the health service. In the midst of a serious workforce crisis, we simply cannot afford to lose any more talented healthcare professionals.
“The pressures in the NHS are not the fault of patients or staff, but years of underfunding and a failure to properly support its workforce. If we want a health service that can provide timely care, from doctors who feel valued, then the Government must give the NHS the investment it desperately needs.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
- For more information on the survey, contact Pulse editor Jaimie Kaffash at [email protected] or 0782 55 99 571.