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Health chiefs issue ‘be polite’ plea amid growing pressure on NHS services




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Northumbria Emergency Care Specialist Hospital, Cramlington

Last year the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust reported a 36% increase in the total number of incidents faced by staff, with verbal abuse more than doubling.

And the North-East Ambulance Service recently highlighted an increase in attacks on its staff.

Hospitals, medics and paramedics in northeastern and northern Cumbria are managing another increase in pressure on vital services with many of the region’s hospitals seeing record daily A&E attendance, a large increase in pediatric cases and ongoing patients Covid19 seeking care.

As well as this NHS teams across hospitals and physicians practices still face challenges such as space reduction in clinical treatment areas and surgeries due to the need to follow strict infection control measures to ensure that patients and staff continue to be safe.

Speaking on behalf of the NHS in the region, Dr Neil Halford, Interim Medical Director for the North-East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “While we estimate that some people may be frustrated, there is no excuse for abuse with our staff and this should not and will not be tolerated.

Every part of the health care system is currently under a lot of pressure, so please be patient and think carefully about the right NHS service for your needs. Seeing an increasing number of people across the entire system and our staff is doing its best to make sure everyone can get the care they require as soon as possible.

We were asking people to use only services such as A&E or 999 for serious or life-threatening issues and to use other options for less urgent health care needs.

Medical doctors across the region are also seeing huge pressures. Reception staff is trained to assist in prioritizing patients to ensure that those most in need are seen more urgently, and are an valued part of the GP team, but as an increasing point of contact more subject to abuse.

Primary care is also working on launching the covid booster program and the flu program, both vital to keeping people protected this winter.

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Northumberland health chiefs condemn “unacceptable” verbal abuse of staff at the doctor …

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