The branch surgery of a Staffordshire GP practice was forced to close down for two days last week, related to staff receiving verbal patient abuse.
The surgery closed on Thursday and Friday, after staff felt compelled to walk out related to the abusive behaviour.
NHS East Staffordshire CCG stressed that patients could still seek medical care at the GP practice’s main location.
A note attached to the GP practice door read: ‘Patient abuse has caused staff to walk out with immediate effect, regrettably we can not open this site 07/10/21 & 08/01/21 – we will be open Monday 11/10/21’.
A charter on the practice’s website says: ‘Physical violence and verbal abuse are a growing concern. GPs, practice nurses and other practice staff have the right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused. We ask that you treat your GP and practice staff properly – without violence or abuse.
‘Violent and abusive patients will be reported to the police and removed from the surgery’s list.’
Burton MP Kate Griffiths told Staffordshire Live she has contacted the practice to offer her help.
She said to the local paper: ‘I am aware that Stretton Trent Meadows Surgery has closed for two days after a member of staff received abuse. Nobody should have to experience abuse as part of their job.
‘It is vital patients are able to access their GP and I have contacted the surgery to offer assistance in any way I can.
‘We must ensure that they can reopen as quickly as possible.’
Dr Rachel Gallyot, chair of NHS East Staffordshire CCG, said: ‘All NHS services are busy at the moment, and we’d like to thank people for working with us as we provide the care they need.
‘We understand that patients can sometimes feel frustrated, but verbal abuse can have a damaging effect on the welfare of NHS workers, and in this case has resulted in staff leaving the practice.
‘Patients are still able to get support through the main Trent Meadows Medical Practice and the Stretton branch surgery will reopen on Monday 11 October.’
This month, the BMA launched a survey into general practice’s response to the current abuse and workload crises, asking whether GPs would consider leaving the NHS or handing in undated resignations among other actions.
It followed the doctors’ representative body calling on the Government for ‘clear public backing for GPs’ acknowledging ‘the huge pressure they are under’ after an emergency meeting with the health secretary last month.
It comes as a Pulse survey revealed that nearly three quarters of GPs are experiencing increased levels of patient abuse compared with before the pandemic.
Last month, a man was charged with assault after attacking four staff members at a GP practice in Manchester, leaving one GP with a skull fracture.
Trent Meadows Medical Practice declined to comment.