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Scottish GPs abused because of negative English media reports, warns LMC

Scottish GPs abused because of negative English media reports, warns LMC

GPs in one of Scotland’s biggest cities have warned that ‘misleading’ reports in English media are fuelling abuse to their staff.

Glasgow LMC sent a letter to the city’s MSPs, warning them GPs are experiencing worrying levels of abuse.

The letter, reported in the city’s paper The National, said staff and doctors were facing aggression from members of the public because of ‘understandable anxiety and frustration’, ‘a lack of awareness of the position that general practice is in’ and ‘some misleading media reports particularly within the press in England over recent months.’

The letter also said that the ‘gap between demand and capacity has widened dramatically over the past few weeks’.

It said: ‘We are sure that you will be concerned to hear reports of the levels of abuse GPs and their staff are facing as they work to care for their patients.

‘We think this is being driven not only by understandable anxiety and frustration but also by a lack of awareness of the position that general practice is in and some misleading media reports particularly within the press in England over recent months.

‘Practices are inevitably having to focus on urgent care, prioritising those cases above less urgent requests for consultations currently.

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‘This unfortunately means that some patients will need to wait longer for their appointments, and access to book ahead appointments may need to be curtailed in the short term, to provide sufficient capacity for urgent access.

‘This is not a situation that GPs and practices find comfortable, as they are acutely aware of the need to be able to provide continuity of care to those patients with long-term conditions and to be available to the frail and elderly within their practice populations.’

Dr John Ip, medical director at Glasgow LMC, told Pulse: ‘We are concerned that GPs and practice staff are facing abuse when seeking to care for their patients. Abuse, be that verbal or physical, is unacceptable.

‘GPs and their practice teams are working extremely hard and this kind of behaviour is demoralising for them.

‘GP practices are seeing unprecedented levels of demand at this current time. GPs are reporting that they are dealing with very high numbers of patients, often exceeding 40 to 50 patient contacts on a daily basis.’

It comes as some GP practices in Glasgow were asked to suspended routine services to focus on acute care, while some branch surgeries have closed with staff redeployed to support other health centres. 

In Lanarkshire, a number of GP practices have been open additional days including Saturdays throughout January to help ease pressures on the wider service, while NHS Ayrshire & Arran asked GP practices to move to only seeing urgent and emergency care patients, due to the ‘overwhelming demand’ across general practice


          

READERS' COMMENTS [2]

Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Rogue 1 18 January, 2023 10:26 am

Not quite sure what the evidence is here, other than Scottish GPs are under severe pressures just like their English counterparts.

C Ovid 19 January, 2023 7:45 pm

Perhaps if you whip it up enough, it can become something