As National Health Service waiting times continue to grow, medical staff in the UK are increasingly confronted by angry patients — and their families — affected by delays in accessing treatment.
“With all the stresses and struggles and strain on the NHS waiting times, patients are, understandably, quite frustrated. We are well aware of the heightened levels of confrontation that clinical staff have been dealing with post-COVID,” said Javidul Islam, associate physician at the Page Hall Medical Centre in Sheffield, England.
Such situations can be intimidating — scary even, especially for new staff. “When I did an A&E [Accident and Emergency] placement, some of the patients were very aggressive to staff and tried to attack them,” said Islam. “So that can be quite a sobering experience. You can definitely feel vulnerable. You are acutely aware of making sure you don’t say the wrong thing to aggravate a situation.”