12 July 2021
Today the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has announced that “Freedom Day” is still on next week. Including the replacement of a requirement to wear masks with a recommendation that people do so if they are “in a crowded internal place”.
With Covid prevalent, and growing, in the community it is clear that masks should still be worn in healthcare settings to protect staff and vulnerable patients. It is unfair and unrealistic to expect general practice staff to single-handedly inform patients of this and enforce it, especially after a week of the Government telling people mask wearing will no longer be a requirement as of Monday.
NHS England and Government ministers need to get the message out at a national level that staff in general practice, and across the NHS, are working as hard as they can, and those on the other side of the reception desk, the consulting room or at the end of the phone are people, not a faceless sounding board for frustrations.
London practice staff are already receiving profanity filled letters and text messages in response to vaccination reminders, and those making calls are getting abuse and threatened with being reported to regulators, and even with violence, all just for doing as instructed by the NHS.
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.
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