A DOCTORS' surgery in Herefordshire has hit back at frustrated patients which it claims verbally abused staff, leaving them in tears.

Bromyard's Nunwell Surgery has responded to complaints, including a Facebook post, which it said were not accurate.

Joint practice manager Vanessa Hargest said it was with a heavy heart she had to speak out about the problem having had two receptionists "in tears" after abuse from patients over the telephone.

"We will not enter into a ‘keyboard debate’ but thank the many kind patients for their support in trying to present a supportive and positive mediation for the angry posts levelled at the practice," she said.

"The information within some of the posts is factually incorrect."

Pointing out the facts, she said the surgery had never closed its doors during the pandemic, and appointments will always be available on the day if a patient is ill.

GP surgeries have carried out most consultations remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, according to NHS England.


But Ms Hargest said that didn't mean Nunwell wasn't seeing patients face-to-face when there was a clinical need to do so.

Asking people to be kind as the surgery was doing its best, she said: "If you need to see a doctor, you will be seen face-to-face as soon as needed.

"Every patient has to be triaged by telephone first – this is a national mandate. This means that a number of patients have two contacts – increasing workload.

"Every room has to be cleaned between any face to face contacts – to keep you safe following rigorous infection control standards. This takes a considerable time."

Ms Hargest said demand for services was up 23 per cent in Herefordshire on pre-pandemic levels, and healthcare professionals had been "heavily involved" in running coronavirus vaccination clinics.


She said complaints made through the proper channels were always dealt with, but "patients who complain about things that are beyond our control, not convenient to them or unreasonable or vexatious take up just as much time as a genuine and reasonable complaint".

The surgery said it did not have the capacity to see everyone who wishes to be seen face-to-face "just because they want to", but will if there is a clinical need.

"Unfortunately it is currently taking longer to do everything, for all of the reasons above, and we would ask for some consideration, understanding and patience," she said.

"We are doing our very best in very difficult circumstances. Please be kind."