Over three-quarters of doctors in Essex have been assaulted or threatened by patients or their relatives a recent poll has found.
The severity of this issue has been highlighted by a former doctor who worked at a GP surgery in Basildon, who told the Enquirer: “We have to put up with so much abuse as doctors, when all we really want to do is help people with their health comcerns and get on with our jobs.”
“I have been threatened, pushed and had patients force their way into my exam room when I have been with another patient, demanding that I see them now.”
Concerns have been raised over the safety of GP surgeries, GP out of hours services and hospitals. Unfortunately, it seems that the scale and occurrence of
threats, violence and assaults have become a stark reality to UK doctors.
Recently in Watford, Mark Waterfall was found guilty of attempted murder after launching a crossbow attack on GP Dr Gary Griffith in his consulting room.
The former GP continued: “This attack does not surprise me. Staff at doctors surgeries need more general safety training and even some self defence training going forward, so that when they can deal with angry, drunk or volatile patients quicker.
“I became very good at spotting these patients a mile off. These were the ones that regularly raised their voices and were never happy with their treatment.”
A recent poll by Doctors.net.uk has found that 59% of doctors have been threatened by a patient or relative during clinical practice. The former GP concluded: “Doctors should not be made to feel vulnerable, intimidated or in danger at work or while consulting with patients. We need to stamp this out or the NHS will have no doctors in the future.”