This week we have had a significant number of patients shouting, swearing and insulting all members of our team.
We appreciate that it is difficult at the moment. We understand that everyone is fed up with covid and lockdown and want normality. We share these feelings.
We are here to help and try to balance each patient’s needs and demands against those of all our patients, whilst also following the government mandates about how we have to work to reduce the risk of our patients getting covid, and ensure our resources are used fairly.
We are seeing an unprecedented peak in demand and this means our waiting list is longer than usual.
We also still have to provide manpower for the covid vaccination hub.
We need to ensure our staff isolate and get tested when they present with symptoms that could be COVID.
The Government mandate dictates to us how we must work at the moment – in terms of consulting patients over the phone first, ensuring infection control between patients who come in, and not having a waiting room full of people. This is to avoid the risk of patients catching covid whilst in the practice. Please do not blame us for these measures.
Whilst we appreciate these are necessary, we do not like the impact these changes have on our care. Whilst 1/3 of patients are still seen face to face, we look forward to getting back to normal levels. The Doctors and Nurses became Doctors and Nurses because of the personal connection and impact they can have in helping patients. This is often much harder over the telephone. Whilst the doctors and nurses are helping as many people as before, days are extended due to the additional cleaning time as well as the additional workload caused as other services are still restricting access, and patient demand is higher – particularly around mental health. Our waiting lists are higher and this can make it feel like reception are being obstructive when in fact they are following the rules the government enforce and that GPs put in to ensure our time is used to maximise benefit and access for patients.
We really do appreciate it when patients understand these pressures and restrictions. Please don’t blame us for things outside of our control. Of course where we have got something wrong, we want to fix this and put this right. This works best if we can discuss things calmly and positively rather than in a moment of anger and abuse.
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