Half of GPs do not report being victims of violence

Over half of GPs (52 per cent) that experience violence in Britain do not report it, according to a BMA study.

Nearly a third of GPs (31 per cent) encountered violence in 2007, higher than most doctors and second only to junior doctors.

The majority of incidents involved verbal insults (97 per cent) but 31 per cent of violent encounters led to physical assault too. 

Only 48 per cent of doctors went on to report the incident or take further action, like removing a patient from their list.

Salaried GPs were less likely to experience violent incidents (25 per cent) than GP principals or locums (36.4 and 31.6 per cent respectively).

Despite an overall decrease in the proportion of doctors reporting violence compared with a 2003 survey, there appears to be an increased incidence and acceptance of physical violence against doctors, the BMA has said.

The majority of cases were because the patient was unhappy with the service.

GPs were more positive about a policy of zero tolerance to violence than hospital doctors.

The data was compiled from 591 responses to a postal survey in Britain, including 244 GPs.


BMA survey

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