Abusive graffiti daubed on side of GP practice in Bristol

GPs at a practice in Bristol arrived at work this week to find abusive graffiti daubed on the wall of their premises in foot-high letters.

GP practice faced with abuse (Photo: Photofusion/Getty Images)
GP practice faced with abuse (Photo: Photofusion/Getty Images)

GPs at the Charlotte Keel Medical Practice found the abusive message painted on the practice when they arrived for work on 26 October.

Bristol GP Dr Shaba Nabi, who works at the practice, posted an image of the message on Twitter - blaming the vitriol aimed at general practice on negative media coverage and pledging that staff at Charlotte Keel would 'continue serving our deprived population with pride'.

The incident comes as GPonline reported that practices across England have continued to face abuse and complaints in the wake of an 'insulting' letter from NHS England last month.

NHS England's primary care medical director apologised after the letter - which reminded GP practices of their duty to provide face-to-face appointments when appropriate and warned that failure to do so could constitute a breach of contract - sparked negative coverage in national media about primary care access.

GPs have condemned the graffiti attack - and called on NHS England to step up its support for the profession amid rising pressure during the growing second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

BMA GP committee executive team member Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said the attack was 'completely unacceptable'.

BMA vice chair Dr David Wrigley wrote on Twitter that NHS England needed to show 'more visible and vocal support' for GPs.

GP abuse

BMA GP committee member Dr Gaurav Gupta called the abusive graffiti 'horrible' - and warned in a response to Dr Nabi: 'This is what happens when everyone uses general practice as a punching bag.'

Many GPs, other doctors and members of the public spoke out on social media in support of Dr Nabi and her colleagues.

The abusive graffiti comes after RCGP chair Professor Martin Marshall said last week that he was 'livid' over attacks on general practice from 'armchair critics' - condemning people 'playing politics and looking for COVID scapegoats'.

The RCGP has pointed out that far from shirking their responsibility to see patients face-to-face during the pandemic, GP practices are currently delivering more than 2m in-person appointments every week.

Practices are also operating under increasingly difficult circumstances as the second wave of the pandemic builds - with a BMA poll revealing that 60% of GPs have had clinical colleagues off work because they have been forced to self-isolate during the past fortnight.

NHS England primary care medical director Dr Nikki Kanani said: 'No one working for the NHS, whether they are a GP, nurse or porter should face any kind of abuse for simply doing their job and acts such as those in Bristol are an insult to the hard work of my colleagues working across the NHS.'

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