Bad behaviour in GP practices doubles in year

ANTISOCIAL behaviour in GP practices has increase by 47 per cent in the last year according to an investigation undertake by Pulse magazine.

There were 69 instances of antisocial behaviour in GP surgeries or health centres in 2012/13 compared to 47 in the previous year according to figures obtained from a sample of 15 UK police forces.

Violent assaults against practice staff or patients also increased over the year with 53 instances in 2012/13 compared to 28 in 2011/12. However, overall instances of crime at GP surgeries decreased by 3 per cent in 2012/13. The findings were obtained through a freedom of information request.

Dr Nigel Watson, chief executive of Wessex LMCs is quoted in the article saying: "The vast majority of patients behave really well and use the services properly. But there is a small subset of patients who get rude, aggressive or violent when they don’t get what they want and I think most GPs would agree they’ve seen an increase in this behaviour since ten years ago.

"It could be due to consumer culture. People in a healthcare environment are frightened, so might be more likely to get aggressive. Alcohol and mental health issues are common. Where they were tolerated in the past, GPs are now less likely to excuse the behaviour because of the condition."