GPs report increasing levels of patient violence in Northern Ireland

Violent patients are a growing problem facing 40 per cent of GPs in Northern Ireland.

A BMA survey of doctors in the region found that just 12 per cent of GPs believed violence was not a problem.

The number of GPs who considered the problem very serious was 8 per cent, while 30 per cent reported an increase in violent incidents over the past year, marginally more than hospital doctors for whom 28 per cent reported an increase.

Forty three per cent of GPs had experienced violence in the last year and a comparison with a BMA study from 2003 shows that the reported incidence of workplace violence has not improved since then: 44 per cent of GPs complained in 2003 compared with 43 per cent of GPs in 2006.

And of the 43 per cent who reported violent incidents, many of them reported that it had happened on more than one occasion.

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