Survey reveals NHS staff feel 'forgotten' by public as incidents of abuse continue to soar

Video report by ITV Granada Reports correspondent Tim Scott.

NHS staff are experiencing increasing levels of abuse and feel "forgotten" by the public, a new study has revealed.

The survey involving 1,000 NHS staff members shows one in two believe verbal and physical abuse has increased in the past 12 months.

Nearly half say they had personally received abuse, while 67% of those surveyed feel the public has forgotten them - despite being busier than the Covid peak.

It also found 62% agree that support has declined since the start of the pandemic and it would give them a boost if the public got behind them again.

Dave Suart, from the North West Ambulance Service, says staff are burnt out from the stress of the past two years and the abuse they receive.

Meanwhile, one GP in Salford says receptionists working in her small practice are verbally abused on a daily basis, as they struggle to book appointments for patients.

Dr Vannamalar Selvaraasan, from Orient Road Surgery, said a lack of resources is taking its toll on members of the staff in her surgery - with two doctors leaving in one year.

"It's because of stress and finding it hard to cope", she said. "It's been so overwhelming the last two years.

"Staff have went off [sick] with anxiety and stress because they are partly worried about their own mental health when they come in to work and then to take all this abuse - it's just been very hard."

Dr Vannamalar Selvaraasan says two doctors in her practice in Salford have left due to stress in the last year.

The national independent charity NHS Charities Together, wants to shine a light on the "immense pressures" the service continues to be under.

With All Our Hearts aims to be the biggest show of solidarity yet, with supporters urged to wear blue and display blue hearts for NHS workers.

The message is: "We all stand alongside you".

"Barely two years after we were on our doorsteps applauding NHS staff as heroes, they now feel forgotten", says Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said: "Staff are working long and intense hours to protect and care for us - often becoming utterly burnt out in the process - and we know how much it means to them to have the public's support.

"While many NHS staff may feel like support has waned, our research shows people across the nations are still behind them, so we're encouraging everyone to please show NHS staff some love and share the blue heart - and fundraise or donate to vital mental health and wellbeing projects if you can."