DAUK’s joint letter in the BMJ- ‘NHS staff face growing tide of abuse from patients frustrated by long waits for care’

Dear Editor

We are doctors’ associations representing the NHS staff and employers. We welcome the concerns raised by the BMA and other organisations. We also wish to emphasise that any form of verbal or physical abuse of health and care staff is completely unacceptable. These distressing incidents cannot and should not be tolerated.

We condemn the recent abuse and threatening behaviour towards GPs and other Primary Care staff over the last few months. Unfortunately, this phenomenon of abuse, harassment and physical abuse is deplorable. We are all aware that these are difficult times and quite often frustrating for patients, however each of us are trying their level best to deal with the problems of appointments, long waits and related issues.

The NHS already makes best use of its resources and the pandemic has put severe and an exceptional strain on these resources. Abusing GPs and their staff would worsen this situation and in no way improve the delivery of services.

We need to accept that we are all together in dealing with this challenge. We urge the government to spread confidence in the public with firm but honest statements and full support to our GPs and their healthcare staff. We ask the media to remain responsible and help in these endeavours. Our GPs and their staff should feel confident that their place of work is a place of safety.

We are pleased with the government and the NHSE statement of a support package to tackle “workload and abuse” with more Covid funding. We await the details of the proposals and initiatives with this package. We have written to the Secretary Health, Rt Hon Sajid Javid, and urged him to issue a statement to our respected public to honour their GPs and the Healthcare staff.

Mr A Sinha
Media and Communication Lead, British International Doctors Association

Mr Ghulam Abbas
President, Association of Pakistani Association of Physicians and Surgeons of UK

Mr Shabi Ahmad
General Secratary, Association of Pakistani Physicians of Northern Europe

Dr Ramesh Mehta
President, British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

Dr Ellen Welch
Editorial Lead and GP Doctors’ Association (UK)

Mr Ibrahim Bolaji
President. Medical Association of Nigerians Across Britain

Dr Arun Baksi
Director, Our NHS Our Concern

Competing interests: No competing interests