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Together Against Abuse

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Our latest focus: Care Navigators

In 2020, the NHS staff survey showed that more than one in four staff members said they had experienced harassment, bullying, or abuse from patients, relatives, or members of the public.

While the results for this year’s survey are not yet available all the anecdotal evidence is that the scale is getting worse.

Staff in settings throughout the NHS say they are facing a wave of anger and abuse when they go to work.

We can conclude some of the reasons. COVID-19 caused massive strains on the NHS. Hospital waiting lists have got longer, most GP appointments were not carried out face-to-face.

Although the pandemic is still with us, many restrictions have now been lifted in shops, restaurants, pubs and other settings. Therefore, people think everything should be back to normal everywhere.

However, the NHS still has to take all necessary precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other potentially dangerous infections.

That means face coverings, it means social distancing, and while face-to-face appointments have always been provided and are increasing, they are not back to pre-pandemic levels.

We are also seeing a steep increase in people seeking appointment for symptoms they were not coming forward with during the last 12-18 months. This is also causing a high rise in demand.

The NHS is working hard to give people the care and treatment that they need. We know it is frustrating when people are worried for their health and they want help now.

Steps are being taken to improve access to all services, but it has to be done in a way that is safe for patients and our staff, including the support staff who play crucial non-clinical roles.

Abuse, bullying and harassment is never justified.

Here is where we will tell you about some of the experiences of our staff.

And we’ll also tell you about some of the work being done to help get patients the help they need at the right time by the right people.

Please help us to help you. We can all stand together against abuse.


We are focusing on the abuse of Care Navigators (sometimes called signposters). View our video below to find out more.

Previously, we have focused on abuse in primary care and towards ambulance staff. View our videos below to find out more.

Being kind to staff during the acceleration of the COVID-19 booster vaccination: 

Ambulance staff:

Primary care: