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With the increase of recorded assaults at GP surgeries nationally, four of our member practices have taken part in a workshop which will help them manage different aspects of conflict that they may encounter at work.

The Managing Conflict and Aggression in General Practice Workshop, run by Medical Protection was delivered by Dr Peter Colvin, a retired GP from Northern Ireland. He provided practical tools and tips that can be used to help resolve difficult situations.

Staff members from Liverpool House Surgery, Risedale Surgery, Abbey Road Surgery and the Family Practice took part in the workshop which was facilitated by South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative.

During the workshop, staff learnt the following statistics:

  • There were 70,555 reported physical assaults against NHS staff in England 2015/2016
  • 2,130 occurred in primary and community care sector, including GP practices.
  • One in three staff have been verbally abused or threatened by a patient.

An investigation conducted last year by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that “GPs and their staff are increasingly facing violence, harassment, and threatening behaviour in their surgeries.”

The article went on to explain that “Crime figures obtained from police forces across the UK show a 9% rise in the overall number of recorded crimes committed on the premises of GP surgeries and health centres over the past year. “ This rose from 1,974 in 2015-16 to 2,147 in 2016-17.

The figures obtained by the BMJ show a 5% increase in recorded assaults at GP surgeries and Health Centres, a 34% rise in cases of harassment, and a 90% surge in public order offences, such as threatening behaviour. 

We believe that staff who work in General Practice have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and threat and we support the NHS Zero Tolerance policy.

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