28 June 2021
One topic has emerged over the last few days. Its not what you think.
SMS Abuse: Enough is Enough
We are horrified to read some of the replies you and your practice teams have received in response to text messages you were asked by commissioners to send out to all over-18s who had not had their first Covid-19 jab. One text reply to a South London practice repeated the F word seven times, and other messages have contained threats to practice staff.
Such behaviour would be unacceptable under any circumstances, let alone when practice teams are helping commissioners promote vaccination opportunities. We have escalated this issue of abuse with NHS England, but want to understand how widespread it is across our boroughs. Unfathomably, it appears this abuse was not common knowledge at NHS England and we think it is important that they not only know about it, but act on it and are loud and clear in their support for GPs and practice teams, and against abusive behaviour.
If your practice has received abuse from patients in response to texts you have been asked to send out promoting details of mass site vaccination sessions please send us details via Laurelle Hughes.
With changes in Secretary of State, NHS England Chief Executive, and forthcoming parliamentary legislation, all during a pandemic and its impact on our services, this remains a vital time for general practice. We need the strongest possible voice from the grassroots, as practices continue to manage their response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and prepare for the significant health needs which will follow it. So a huge thanks to all of you who stood for election to your LMC. Along with our teams I look forward to meeting you over the coming months.
Remember – only LMCs represent every GP practice in their area and every person working within each one. And as part of the Londonwide LMCs family, you have a voice.
As ever I welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep well. Stay safe.
With best wishes
Dr Michelle Drage MBBS FRCGP
CEO, Londonwide LMCs