Almost all Sheffield GP surgery staff have faced abuse by patients, NHS report reveals
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It says: “The effects of COVID-19 and resulting pressures continue to be felt in general practice. Staff absences due to COVID-19 and sickness as well as stress affect the health and wellbeing of staff and the ability of practices to function.
“As pressure on services has grown locally and nationally, incidents of abuse and violence against staff by patient have increased. NHS Sheffield CCG (Care Commissioning Group) conducted a survey last year that found that 95.5% of practice staff who responded had experienced verbal abuse from patients in the workplace in the preceding 9 months and 52% had experienced intimidation and 47% of respondents said they experienced verbal abuse on a weekly basis.”
Zero tolerance message
The report, which is being discussed by Sheffield City Council’s health scrutiny sub-committee on Wednesday (November 23), says that NHS Yorkshire developed a targeted campaign to support a zero tolerance message, linked to World Kindness Day, which took place on Sunday, November 13. Training on dealing with difficult situations and complaints handling support has also been provided.
The majority – 69.1 per cent – of appointments booked with practices in the city were delivered face to face, a slightly higher proportion than the national figure. The report says that the pandemic accelerated different ways of delivering appointments, including telephone, online and video consultations with patients where this is appropriate.
NHS South Yorkshire is working with practices to provide additional support during the winter period, including a same day advanced nurse practitioner service providing urgent care and a paramedic home visiting service to free up GP time for other tasks. Other support includes funding additional late blood collections from practices to increase their efficiency.
Practices have also been offered grant funding to increase their capacity, support care homes or work with high-intensity users of their services.