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Call for Kindness in General Practice Posted on 8 Jun 2021

GP Practices and patients in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin have come together to encourage mutual respect and understanding between patients and practice staff.

Whilst the majority of patients have understood the challenges created by the pandemic and appreciate the care provided by their practice, some practices are sadly seeing and increase in incidents of verbal abuse directed at their staff.

Dr Deborah Shepard, Medical Director for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group, said "The last year has been very hard and everyone has struggled, our patients and our staff - but there is never any excuse for threatening or abusive behaviour."

"In General Practice we have remained open throughout the pandemic to provide care for our patients as well as taking on additional work, such as delivering the vaccination programme, without additional staff. We had to find ways of working to allow us to do this. We know this created increased pressure on staff and left some patients feeling frustrated."

"Even though the restrictions on our communities have eased, the demand for all the varied services we provide has continued to grow, just as it has elsewhere across the country. Our practices are now receiving many more calls a day than they were pre-Covid."

Staff are regularly experiencing abuse from some people which impacts on their mental health. This is not ok. It makes it even harder for them to do their job and deliver the care you need. We recognise and understand why people are feeling frustrated but many of the things you are frustrated about are not the responsibility of the staff that you speak to, and they don't have the ability to change them. Often they are just as frustrated as you!"     

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