Surgery re­cep­tion­ist tells of abuse from pa­tients


Bangor Mail - - Front Page - kelly Wil­liams

A DOC­TOR’S re­cep­tion­ist has opened up about the abuse they face – af­ter quit­ting his job.

Colin Chant re­signed from Cam­bria Surgery, Holy­head – where he had worked for three years – af­ter in­creas­ing stresses left him cry­ing in his car af­ter ev­ery shift.

The loss of doc­tors in Holy­head has seen the health board tak­ing over two of its three GP surg­eries, with res­i­dents re­port­edly left with “nowhere to turn” and prompt­ing a public meet­ing.

The im­pact has been felt heav­ily at Cam­bria Surgery, with some pa­tients be­com­ing in­creas­ingly rude and abu­sive – push­ing Colin to break­ing point.

It spurred the 38-yearold from Holy­head to post a bru­tally hon­est ac­count on Face­book of what prac­tice staff are hav­ing to deal with.

Ad­dress­ing his post to all pa­tients of the surgery, the fa­ther-of-two wrote: “I am cur­rently suf­fer­ing from se­vere de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety is­sues, for those of you who I have dealt with and helped in the last few years, this might come as a sur­prise as I have al­ways tried to main­tain a high level of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and courtesy to all of you.

“How­ever it has be­come im­pos­si­ble for me to main­tain this as the reg­u­lar ver­bal abuse I re­ceive from pa­tients when we are un­able to give an ap­point­ment with a GP or a nurse has caused my is­sues to in­ten­sify to the point where I cry in my car at the end of a shift.

“I am NOT blam­ing you at all, but I write this in the hope that I will help you re­alise that each and ev­ery per­son work­ing in this surgery is do­ing their very best to pro­vide the best ser­vice they can to you, un­der ex­tremely dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances. This goes from the prac­tice man­ager to the clean­ing staff.

“I feel you also need to re­mem­ber that the staff are all also pa­tients as well and so have a real un­der­stand­ing of your frus­tra­tions and the rea­sons be­hind them.

“Please re­mem­ber that when you are (swear­ing and) shout­ing at us etc, it deep­ens the up­set and stress we feel.

“For ex­am­ple if you were in a re­la­tion­ship and your part­ner told you ev­ery day you were use­less or ter­ri­ble etc, you would leave as this is an ABU­SIVE re­la­tion­ship.

“Please think twice about what you are say­ing as peo­ple like my­self who AL­WAYS try to go the ex­tra mile and help you are suf­fer­ing.

“I ask that you help them to help you by think­ing about what you are say­ing no mat­ter the frus­tra­tions (trust me, they know where you are com­ing from), when you call for an ap­point­ment and are asked the rea­son, don’t just say per­sonal or lie as this won’t help you get treat­ment.”

He con­tin­ued: “Last but not least please be aware that it is YOU who need to mon­i­tor your med­i­ca­tions, NOT the doc­tors, ANPs, re­cep­tion staff etc.

“If you run out of med­i­ca­tion then it WILL take 48 hours for a re­peat to be is­sued. The staff are not able to do some­thing that takes 48 hours when you bring in a script at 1pm ask­ing if it can be ready at 5pm the same day, it can’t be done!

“My aim is to re­mind you all of the pres­sure all the staff at this won­der­ful surgery feel ev­ery day in try­ing to make sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of and have a great ser­vice in what are ex­tremely dif­fi­cult times in the NHS.

“I was proud to be an employee of Cam­bria Surgery and no mat­ter what, I al­ways tried to do my best and go the ex­tra mile for ev­ery­one even though some­times it wasn’t re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated. I hope by writ­ing this I make you take a mo­ment to think be­fore hav­ing an­other go at al­ready stressed staff.

“Re­mem­ber at the end of the day, they are only hu­man.”

Colin’s post prompted an out­pour­ing of sup­port.

One per­son said: “You are a breath of fresh air at the surgery. Please don’t leave. Things will get bet­ter. You are bril­liant at your job, I wish there were more re­cep­tion­ists like you.”

An­other added: “Each mem­ber of the surgery is pro­fes­sional and I truly ap­pre­ci­ate all the ef­fort and pro­fes­sion­al­ism al­ways shown. Thank you for all you have done, and help­ing to make me smile! You will be missed.”

■ For­mer GP re­cep­tion­ist Colin Chant

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