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29th September 2021

Open Letter to Salford and Trafford GP Practices

Dear Colleagues 

We continue to find ourselves in the midst of very challenging times in General Practice and the LMC wanted to reach out to you all you. 

Sadly having to deal with abuse from patients is nothing new for Practices and it has significantly increased as the pandemic and lock downs have eased. Over the past 2 weeks this has escalated further, culminating in the sickening attack directed towards a GP and staff in Manchester which resulted in the GP suffering a skull fracture and leaving several members of staff with serious injuries. We know there have been more since. Salford and Trafford are no exception and  the level of abuse, aggression and scandalous vandalism has escalated resulting, no doubt, in staff fearing the working day. 

We all know that the majority of our patients appreciate the efforts practices, their GPs and staff are undertaking to provide good care and it is the minority who are perpetrating these attacks regrettably fuelled by a concerted negative media campaign against general practice with a woefully inadequate response from Government and NHSE.

We would like to assure you that Salford and Trafford LMC is here to support you. We, along with our LMC colleagues nationally, and GPC continue to push back on the negativity shown towards General Practice to ensure a true account of the dire situation is known.  The constant villainisation of GPs who are bearing the brunt of a dissatisfied public on matters outside of their control, whilst others ‘build back better’ by offloading work to General Practice, will have significant consequences for the NHS, patients and the profession if not addressed.  

If you do experience abusive, aggressive or violent behaviour please contact us and provide a brief outline so we can raise with the appropriate organisations. It may also be worthwhile reviewing your zero tolerance policies.  

As many if not all of you are working far in excess of safe limits which only adds to the pressures you are facing we will be circulating a survey to you all later this week asking for you to report on inappropriate workload shift from other Providers. Whilst reluctant to add to your load we urge you to complete the 10 minute questionnaire with as much detail as possible, in order us to raise and address the issues on your collective behalf.  

We will continue to provide updates directly and circulate the weekly GPC communication every Wednesday via email and our website . 

Please also see a collection of recent media coverage and letters, primarily from the BMA and resources available to support Practice staff. 

How to remove violent patients and the Special allocation scheme

Dealing with abuse of practice staff on social media from patients

Practitioner Health (formerly GP Health Service)

BMA Support your surgery campaign

BMA – press coverage

Resilient GP

GM GP Excellence Practice Support

GM Resilience Hub – health and care staff wellbeing service

Salford and Trafford LMC website 

09/09/21 BMA-RCGP-IGPM-and-NHS conf-joint-letter-to-sos-09sept21

14/09/21 BMA health secretary out of touch with GPs reality

17/09/21 MEN – Man arrested for attacking 4 members 

18/09/21 BMA calls for government acition to protect GPs and Practices after horrific violent attack in Manchester

21/09/21 BMA letter to secretary of state for health

Your practice teams are working incredibly hard for your patients and communities and we, at Salford and Trafford LMC, would like to express sincere gratitude and admiration for each and every one of you.

Aarya Prabhakaran Chair, Salford and Trafford LMC 

Jenny Walton Vice Chair Salford and Trafford LMC 

Eve Mannerings CEO, Salford and Trafford LMC