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Zero-tolerance policy to abuse must be enforced across NHS, says Medical Protection.

Post date: 10/08/2021 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 10/08/2021

Commenting on the BMA survey reporting rising levels of abuse against GPs - Dr Pallavi Bradshaw, Medicolegal Lead, Risk Prevention at Medical Protection said:

“These survey results make for difficult reading. GP surgeries have clearly borne the brunt of the public’s frustrations, and it is shocking and appalling that our frontline workers have been facing this sort of abuse.

“Abuse presents yet another source of anxiety at a time when many healthcare workers have expressed grave concerns about their mental wellbeing. GPs are mentally and physically exhausted with the risk of disillusionment and burnout higher than ever. Wellbeing support must be provided to all GP surgery staff who are feeling overwhelmed and demoralised, and a zero-tolerance policy to abuse must be enforced across the NHS so healthcare workers feel their safety is a priority.”


Notes to editors

Further information on Medical Protection’s recent survey into levels of abuse against GP teams relating to the Covid-19 vaccination programme:

  • A Medical Protection survey of 222 GP surgery staff between 21 May - 16 June showed that 3 in 4 (75%) of GP surgeries have suffered verbal abuse during the Covid-19 vaccination programme. Respondents told of shouting, swearing, threats to complain and emotional manipulation, with some citing common phrases such as “it will be your fault if I die”. One GP said a patient threatened to kill themselves if they weren’t given the first vaccine ahead of schedule.
  • The survey also showed that over half (52%) have received threats of physical abuse with some saying notes written and posted through the door or into a prescription box left staff concerned for their safety. 
  • 3 in 5 (60%) go on to say that abuse and complaints relating to the Covid-19 vaccination programme have impacted on their own, or their team’s, mental wellbeing.
  • Anonymous anecdotal comments from GP teams who responded to the survey are available on request.

For further information contact Kate Tullett, Media Manager at MPS: E: [email protected]  T:+44 (0)7515 298791.

About Medical Protection

Medical Protection is a trading name of The Medical Protection Society Limited (“MPS”). MPS is the world’s leading protection organisation for doctors, dentists and healthcare professionals. We protect and support the professional interests of almost 300,000 members around the world.

Membership provides access to expert advice and support and can also provide, depending on the type of membership required, the right to request indemnity for any complaints or claims arising from professional practice.

Our in-house experts assist with the wide range of legal and ethical problems that arise from professional practice. This can include clinical negligence claims, complaints, medical and dental council inquiries, legal and ethical dilemmas, disciplinary procedures, inquests and fatal accident inquiries.

Our philosophy is to support safe practice in medicine and dentistry by helping to avert problems in the first place. We do this by promoting risk management through our workshops, E-learning, clinical risk assessments, publications, conferences, lectures and presentations.

MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association.



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