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"I have never seen this level of abuse"

The abuse of staff at GP surgeries has "no place in the NHS", a healthcare boss has said, following complaints it has risen during the pandemic.

Dr Joanne Watt, GP chairwoman of the Northamptonshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said she understood patients' frustrations as surgeries battle with increased demand.

But she said the reports of abuse were "extremely upsetting and demoralising".

A receptionist told the BBC she had "never seen this level of abuse".

Claire, who works at Harborough Field surgery in Rushden and has been employed by the NHS for 34 years, said staff were being verbally abused on a daily basis and it was "becoming the norm and it shouldn't be". "We work within the rules we're given. It's very upsetting, we've been reduced to tears," she said.

The latest NHS staff survey found one in three staff claimed to have experienced at least one incident of bullying, harassment or abuse from service users, their relatives or other members of the public, in the year to March 2021.

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Source: BBC News, 7 October 2021


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