Treat Our Staff With Respect

Firstly, we would like to thank the patients of Old Catton Medical Practice who have been supportive through what has been a difficult period for all of us; patients, staff and the NHS in general. The kind and thoughtful feedback, messages of thanks, cards, rainbow pictures and even biscuits have all been very warmly and gratefully received and has given us a lift at times when we have felt a bit despondent.

All of the staff at Old Catton Medical Practice empathise and understand how frustrating it can be accessing clinical services within the NHS at this current time. We are all patients within the NHS too and are facing the same challenges due to the unprecedented increase in demand on all NHS services. Sadly, what we have also noted is an increase in abuse from our patients, directed towards members of staff and GP’s. This can range from unreasonable demands, general rudeness, shouting, defamatory comments on social media, swearing all the way through to personal attacks and threats of violence.

This is bullying and harassment and is not something which will be tolerated by the partners at this practice.

We understand that anxieties around health and wellbeing can lead to heightened emotions; we recognise that our patients are understandably and reasonably worried about their own health or that of a love one. In these instances we, of course, understand patients can get frustrated or upset. However, there is no excuse for abusing any member of our team whether it be directly or indirectly, over the telephone or by the medium of social media: there are no circumstances in which our staff should face shouting, swearing or feeling threatened within their place at work.

Our staff works hard, often in difficult circumstances to man the running of our services. We too have had to deal with the challenges of staff contracting COVID or being in isolation. Please remember that we are being asked to work the way we are by the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England. Despite what some patients may think, all of our staff cares deeply about providing each and every patient they come into contact with a high level of care and a positive outcome to whatever their enquiry may be. Our team has been running Covid vaccination clinics here at the surgery as well as vaccinating our vulnerable patients at their homes whilst working at the mass vaccination clinics in the city alongside our everyday work load.

During the pandemic we have seen thousands of patients and we have actively invited our most vulnerable patients for appointments because of the risks they face. Unlike many surgeries we did not stop our usual day to day workload as we thought it was important to keep the “business as usual” ethos whilst working in line with NHS guidelines.

Please do not forget that the receptionist you are speaking to on the telephone, the nurse/healthcare/phlebotomist you are being seen by in a clinic or the GP with who you are being treated by is a fellow human being. We are all dealing with the same challenges within our personal lives that you are facing.

Please treat our staff with the dignity and respect they deserve