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Violence and aggression from patients on the rise say GPs

Almost half (46%) of GP believe that patients have become more aggressive of violent in the past five years, a survey by the Medical Protection Society has found.

The survey of 254 GP members found that 51% had experienced violence or aggression from patients in the past five years and a third of those accepted that this was part of their job.

The vast majority (82%) of GPs noted any violent or aggressive behaviour in the patient record, and 59% went on to try and resolve this with the patient – one in five GPs reported the incident to the police.

And while the majority sought support from by colleagues or practice management, 14% of GPs said they did not access any professional support after experiencing violence or aggression.

Dr Richenda Tisdale, medicolegal adviser at MPS, said NHS England needed to do recognise the strain this placed on the profession and do more to support and empower practices.

Dr Tisdale said: ‘It is understandable that patients may be anxious about their health and these emotions can be overwhelming, especially if their expectations cannot be met. However, no doctor should have to be on the receiving end of violent or aggressive behaviour as a result.’