Surgery receptionist tells of abuse from patients
RECEPTIONIST REVEALS ABUSE BY PATIENTS
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