NHS Staff Abuse


Having spoken at length with a few close friends, two with ME and one with the same terminal condition as myself. We got onto the subject of the seemingly endless barrage of posters, flyers and leaflets regarding the issue of abuse, both verbal and physical towards NHS staff.

Whilst I agree totally that nobody, whether in the workplace or anywhere else for that matter should be subjected to any kind of bad behaviour from the people they are trying to work for and help, it brought me to thinking…..Does the doctors receptionist, practice nurse, ward nurse or even the doctor fully take into account the patients full conditions and subsequent manifestations of that condition?

I always try to be completely pleasant and grateful for any help offered, advised and/or given by these hard working and mostly underpaid professionals. However, lets take a doctor as an example. You enter the surgery after what for most of us is a major feat just to get there. We sit and wait in a noisy and often over crowded waiting room, generally for much longer than our appointed time slot. We are then megaphoned to go through to a given consulting room.

“Take a seat…now whats the trouble Mr/Mrs X”? we are asked…Being that most times they already know of our conditions and degrees of it, we are forced to relive it again.

OK…I get this bit. But do they actually have the training or compassion to realise that because of conditions and there many guises that the patient may not have slept for days, are in serious pain and/or discomfort and how these things can actually change our outlook and reactions?

Don’t think I’m talking about the friday night drunks in A&E here, I’m referring to genuinely nice, normal folks who are just unfortunate to have serious illnesses and conditions that can, at times make us a little short. Do they recognise it? Do they make allowances for it? Or do they instantly brand it as abusive?

My own personal experience and the fact that I’m never short or offhand with anyone unless I’m pushed into return fire is that I’ve almost always had professional treatment both verbally and physically.

I do however know of several who have not been quite as fortunate. Is this a training or lack of on the part of some staff?

Perhaps if they fully understood that not all are gobby, lairy chavs and most patients will return kindness and a caring demeanor if they employ that to the patients they deal with.

I repeat…I do not condone any misappropriate behavior but some people match like with like.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences?




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  1. very well written Ian, hope i am doing this right its my first test pilot!!!!! I am sure almost everyone with ME finds dealing .speaking ,explaining about ME frustrating as few Doctors including my 2 Cardiologists did not ,even know what ME was? ? Many GP are the same. Its very hard work on top of your illness. You often get treated badly like you are wasting their time they clearly know nothing about your condition. …I will write more if this has worked!!!

  2. yippee I have succeeded…no stopping me now!!!

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