Media comment: stabbing at a practice in Sidcup

  • Media comment

Dr Michelle Drage, our CEO, calls for more to be done to deter aggression and violence towards practice staff and patients,

“This is a deeply sad and distressing for the GP involved, their family, the practice and its patients. Although we don’t yet have all the details about this case, for some time practices have been reporting that abuse continues to increase and many feel exposed and unsupported.

“We have been working on guidance for practices on how to manage and de-escalate aggression from patients, which will be published in the coming weeks. But there is only so much practices can do, they need the support of commissioners in removing aggressive patients to properly resourced special allocation schemes and a timely response from local police at the point staff or patients feel threatened.

“Staff and patient safety must be a key priority, in October 2021 NHS England committed to a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to abuse of staff providing NHS services, but this has clearly not been delivered as events in the London Borough of Bexley and other recent incidents across the country sadly show.”

Note: see section C of Our plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice outlines the zero tolerance commitment.