Patients hit back after GP surgery staff say they are 'subject to verbal abuse'

Patients have hit out at a GP surgery after bosses shared a statement pleading with patients to stop abusing them.

Lion Health medical practice in Stourbridge. Photo: Google
Lion Health medical practice in Stourbridge. Photo: Google

But some residents were defending the staff at Lion Health medical practice in Stourbridge after it posted messages on its website and Facebook page pleading with patients to speak to them with respect.

The message says staff have been "subject to regular levels of verbal abuse and aggression from some patients and relatives".

It is believed anger has centred around call handlers asking patients for information before putting them through to doctors, while others have been upset at the lack of face-to-face appointments.

One patient posted on Facebook saying she was kept on hold for two hours on Friday morning.

Anne Catton said: "Two hours I was kept on hold this morning and the receptionist was quite flippant when I pointed it out. You can't argue with them because they hang up or remove you from the surgery. Even after two hours I was told they would get a doctor to phone on Saturday morning from another surgery."

Donna Tracy Wimbush added: "I had to stand in the rain with a queue behind me and shout into the intercom twice."

Lewba Tsae said: "What they call aggressive is a challenge to the answers they give you. Pathetic. Sick to death of the poor service NHS no longer fit for purpose scrap it and start again."

And Michelle Doughty said she ended up in A&E after not being able to see a GP.

She said: "Whilst I do not agree with people giving verbal abuse to anyone the situation is getting ridiculous.

"I recently had a severe ear infection and was suffering with severe pain, balance and hearing being effected but was unable to get to speak to a GP and told to seek advice from a pharmacy. They kept telling me that I needed a GP has it sounded like I needed antibiotics.

"After being passed from pillar to post I then started to get a discharge of blood and fluid so ended up at A&E with my eardrum ready to burst."

A GP receptionist told other people commenting why they ask patients questions.

Sam Hulme said: "As a GP receptionist believe me I understand the frustrations that people go through to get appointments and I personally fully sympathise with it.

"I always am polite even if I cannot get an appointment for a patient and its difficult for us because we do what we are told to and cannot do anything other than that.

"The reason we are instructed to ask the reason for an appointment is to make sure they are seen by the correct person in clinic that day whether that's a GP, nurse, advanced practioner nurse or registrar.

"Different clinicians deal with different things but if someone does not want to disclose information then telling me it's personal is perfectly fine but that's my own view on being a receptionist but I try very hard for the patients where I work but unfortunately cant give everything to everyone that they need."

And Ashley Lovell added: "It’s not about explaining why you want to see a doctor or them being nosey. It’s about directing you the the appropriate level of care, it’s part of their job.

"You may not need to see a doctor. We all know the demand they are under in normal times let alone now, after all there is a national shortage of doctors.

"The number of times I’ve called asked to see the doctor and actually the nurse has seen me and I got the care I need while someone who really should see a doctor has been seen by them. The truth of the matter is not everyone needs to see a doctor. No one regardless how frustrated you are deserves verbal abuse."

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