Over a third (35%) of healthcare professionals say they have suffered verbal or physical abuse from patients, or patients’ relatives during COVID-19, according to a survey by Medical Protection.
The Medical Protection survey of 1250 doctors in the UK, also showed that a further 7% have experienced verbal or physical abuse from a member of the public outside of a medical setting, with some saying they have been sworn at for using the NHS queue at the supermarket.
This follows reports that GP’s are facing abuse and complaints from patient’s who believe they aren’t offering enough face-to-face appointments, despite face-to-face appointments increasing in recent months.
Medical Protection said the abuse presents yet another source of anxiety for doctors at the worst possible time. In the same survey, 2 in 5 doctors say their mental wellbeing is worse compared to the start of the pandemic.
“I have been sworn at for using the NHS queue at the supermarket.”
“I have had more unpleasantness from patients in the last 6 months than in all my previous 50 years in healthcare.I am almost at the point of stopping all clinical practice.”
“There is too much verbal abuse to mention but the most upsetting is patients believing that we haven`t been open – we are all on our knees.”
Source: Medical Protection, 31 October 2020
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