Doctors in Lanarkshire have reported a rise in 'incidents of hostility' linked to continuing patient appointment restrictions.

Dr Linda Findlay, Medical Director of South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership, said GPs had experienced a rise in verbal abuse in recent daysl.

Doctors are continuing to provide the majority of appointments over the phone or online with patients only seen in person if 'it is of clinical benefit' or where tests are required.

Dr Findlay said demand for GPs appointments was "exceptional" and said reports had also been received about similar incidences of hostility being directed at dental, wider primary and community care staff.

She said: “The majority of the public continue to be very supportive of our staff - and our colleagues in primary and community care - and we would thank them for that.

“Sadly, however, we are hearing more reports that, in recent days, a minority have been engaging in behaviours and attitudes that are completely unacceptable.

“Although in recent days we’ve seen a very welcome relaxation of some restrictions to restore much more normality to our everyday lives, GP services will continue to be provided in line with national guidance to keep everyone safe.

“The vast majority of patients are able to have their presenting clinical (non Covid-19) symptoms dealt with by a relevant healthcare professional over the phone.
“For those patients that require a face-to-face consultation, this is being undertaken using Near Me video consulting or an in-person appointment where this offers additional clinical benefit.

"Patients will only receive a face-to-face appointment if necessary, for physical examination or if tests need to be carried out.”