Nurses caring for patients in the community have been spat at and called ‘disease spreaders’ by members of the public, according to England’s chief nurse and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).
The nursing union urged members of the public to support the UK’s “socially critical” nursing workforce during the coronavirus outbreak.
The RCN said it had received anecdotal reports of community nurses receiving abuse while working in uniform. Separately, England’s Chief Nurse Ruth May said she had heard reports of nurses being spat at.
Susan Masters, the RCN’s director of policy, said abuse of nurses was “abhorrent behaviour”. She said a number of nurses had raised concerns about abuse on forums used by members to talk confidentially.
Describing one incident she told The Independent: “These were community nurses who had to go into people’s homes and were in uniform. Members of the public who saw them called out to them and said they were ‘disease spreaders’.”
She added: “We don’t know how big this problem is, it is anecdotal, but it is absolutely unacceptable.
Source: The Independent, 21 March 2020
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