Man charged after aggressive patient rampage in Derby GP surgery leaves staff 'traumatised'

Dr Imtiaz-Umer shared the pictures of the destroyed reception area on her social media after the attack. Credit: Dr Shehla Imtiaz-Umer

A man has been charged with criminal damage after going on a rampage in the reception area of a GP practice.

Officers were called to Wilson Street Surgery in Derby just before 2pm on 29 December, where they found tables overturned and chairs left smashed after the patient's aggressive behaviour.

Richard Randle, 29, of Cavendish Court, Derby, has now been charged with criminal damage.

He's been released on bail and will appear Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on 9 February.

This is the fourth time in as many weeks the practice has had to call the panic button after experiencing aggressive behaviour from one of its patients.

Bosses are now considering measures such as improved security barriers, more lighting, and even security guards.

Dr Shehla Imtiaz-Umer believes it's a result of an anti-GP rhetoric in the media and unrealistic expectations by patients.

Dr Shehla Imtiaz-Umer says the aggressive behaviour is getting worse

She said: "One of the instances was a patient becoming physically demanding and the member of staff felt they were going to be physically harmed because of the interaction.

"The patient was in the consulting room at the time which lead to staff having to come in to remove that patient to avoid any escalation or physical harm.

"The other couple of incidents were again in the waiting room, where a patient was physically lashing out against the premises and being verbally aggressive towards staff, which resulted in the panic alarm being pulled."

She added: "We are coping in, and trying our best to cope in, a healthcare system that is collapsing around us and it's very easy to put the blame at GPs but in reality we couldn't be working harder and its really just to consider the reality of where we are at the moment."

In many instances, it's the staff in reception who are most in the firing line.

Like many of her colleagues, Tania Gibson can recall occasions when they've been subjected to verbal abuse and threats.

She says staff are trying to manage "as best they can", but are on constantly on edge.

Tania Gibson says a 'one strike and you're out' rule would make her feel safer

Tania said: "We shouldn't feel like that coming to work, it isn't fair on any of us.

"We are getting to a point where we're leaving most days a bit deflated and are thinking, 'thank god that's over'."

She added: "It's just so constant and sometimes there's nothing we can do to calm these people down if they are having an issue getting what they want or us providing what they need.

"Their first port of call is anger or aggression instead of ok well we'll try and resolve it in this way. It's just becoming a bit much for us all."

Recent figures by the British Medical Journal.

Recent figures obtained by the British Medical Journal show there were 1,068 'violent incidents' logged in doctor's practices across the UK last year.

In 2017-2018, there were 586 incidents and of the 'violent incidents', 182 involved physical assault.