Members of staff at a general practice which was threatened with ‘two large knives’ have been offered psychological support by the integrated care board (ICB).
Earlier this month, Crewe Police said that they received multiple reports of a man entering Grosvenor Medical Centre on Tuesday afternoon and being threatening towards staff, ‘producing two large knives and making threats to kill’.
Speaking to Healthcare Leader, Cheshire and Merseyside ICB chief Graham Urwin said the practice team require psychological support and are being offered help via to ensure continuity of services.
Mr Urwin said: ‘We have, through our occupational health services, a range of direct support to individual employees that we’ve opened up to members of that practice. But it’s also about making sure that GP leaders are in touch with the senior GP and the practice, that our staff are in touch with the practice manager helping them to put contingency plans in place in terms of how they manage ongoing patient appointments.’
Grosvenor Medical Centre is currently opening but is operating on a ‘closed front door policy’ with walk-ins suspended, he added.
Crewe Police had said that they received multiple reports of a man entering Grosvenor Medical Centre on Tuesday afternoon and being threatening towards staff, ‘producing two large knives and making threats to kill’.
The practice staff managed to evacuate patients from the building and internal panic alarms were pressed to alert the police.
A second attack on a GP practice also took place within the ICB’s footprint but due to the on-going police investigation the ICB was unable to give any details.
In an exclusive interview with Healthcare Leader, Mr Urwin said :‘We will not tolerate any acts of violence against NHS premises or NHS staff. It’s really important that our frontline staff can get on and do their job in an uninhibited way.’
Data provided to our sister title Pulse by police forces under the Freedom of Information Act show a 16% rise in crimes involving violence at GP surgeries since 2019, after a drop in incidents during the pandemic.
When asked why such instances were on the rise nationally, Mr Urwin said: ‘It would be difficult to speculate. But I do think that the way society interacts with public services in a social media age sometimes does not show the level of respect that you would expect.
‘We know that people have a degree of frustration with their ability to access and gain appointments. But, if we set that in context, our hospitals are now doing about 103% of the work they were doing immediately pre-pandemic. And, just on simple appointment numbers, GPs are delivering something like 120% of the appointments they were pre-pandemic.
‘It has been said that it could be a number of years before we’ve fully recovered from the pandemic. We always knew that all of those missing treatments, presentations and opportunities to manage long-term conditions would have a big tail. We have to acknowledge that primary care is doing its part and doing it really well.’
Criminal acts of violence reported to the police almost doubled in the five years up to 2022 and increased year on year since 2017, a BMJ investigation published last year found has found.
Read the full interview here.