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abuse aimed at patients by reception staff at doctors surgeries

Above is a Head Line I have written myself - while below - is the actual one that was on the internet recently -
GGP surgery forced to shut reception after staff subjected to abuse and intimidation.


Mags 54 Reception staff NOT trained as doctors yet asking personal and impertinent questions and then offer arrogant abuse in return and then hang up when we complain. Appalling service offered to ill people at a time of fear.

Jacky92 Told I could not speak to a doctor for almost 3 weeks and that he would phone me back. I complained and they hung up on me. I ran round to the surgery and complained and a doctor came out and saw me straight away. Told me receptionists were now asking personal details but they are untrained and NOT signed up to the Hippocratic Oath to keep all information private.

Hippocratic Oath The Hippocratic Oath is an oath of ethics historically taken by physicians. It is one of the most widely known of Greek medical texts. In its original form, it requires a new physician to swear, by a number of healing gods, to uphold specific ethical standards. Reception staff do not abide by this and are unqualified to offer any kind of input. They are receptionists. see below

Dashy1976 Does this surprize anyone....the GP service is a national disgrace people don't understand why it has changed so much in a couple of years.

JackB54 Shameful excuse to garner sympathy while abusing in return.

MaxxxOz The arrogance and excuses made just disgust. Rude reception staff making it impossible to see a doctor at a time when there is so much fear and worry and these receptionists abuse the patient with a complete lack of empathy.

Sherrie Welch17h

At my doctors you have to wait up to a month for them to get a repeat prescription ready to collect and then when you go in to pick it up you end up waiting for an hour or more. There is something seriously wrong nowadays that they need to fix fast!


No consideration for what the patient is going through at all. Not a single human thought of care. These reception staff have a lot to learn and I have been left with 8 children all sickly and unable to see doctor unless I phone and wait in line for hours just to speak to a receptionist to be told we shall have a 2 week wait just to speak to the doctor. When I said that was not good enough she told me to go to A&E and then hung up. I was disgusted and distraught as all my children are ill and no help from my doctor at all.

RandomMan Reception staff hung up on me when I mentioned I had been on hold for an hour. Down went the phone. I was FUROOUS as WE PAY FOR THIOS SERVICE.


Now that's a good idea. The reception staff can be short with phone calls, ask questions about health they are not entitled to ask, be rude and swerving queries etc, and they call the patients abusive. Not all of course, but many surgeries are run by "protect the doctor" at all cost tactics.


Perhaps if NHS GP's stopped prioritising their private work there may be more NHS patients seen in person rather than a time filler on the internet between more lucrative work?

Dell P

They should be on border control no one can get past them and they ask personal questions as if they are qualified

Mags B

Why not ban offending patient. Maybe a reason for anger if rejected for face to face. Its an excuse because all GP front desk are going, its robotic now and NHs planned all this with digital triage years ago. Covid allowed it all in quicker.

Debs41 Waited for over an hour on the phone to have some rude receptionist tell me I could not even speak to a doctor for at least 3 weeks and when I complained she said she was not here to take my abuse, but clearly, when dealing with ill patients that want help and these desk staff offer such arrogance, THEY are the abuser.

Marcus & Jane

Sick and tired of rude staff at doctors surgeries and these days it has gone from bad to appalling.

JazX66 Abusive treatment from my local surgery telling me I have to wait 16 days to speak to a doctor. The surgery is empty. The staff are abusive to patients. Many ill people are scared and this arrogance and condescending service does not help. An absolute disgrace.

Mags B19h Why not ban offending patient. Maybe a reason for anger if rejected for face to face. Its an excuse because all GP front desk are going, its robotic now and NHs planned all this with digital triage years ago. Covid allowed it all in quicker.

Joanne Noad I would like to point out that last Tuesday I had occasion to call my surgery at 10 am. I was 10th in the cue. When I got through It happened to be a receptionist that I knew well.. They said they had quite a bit of verbal abuse. She said her and 4 colleagues had dealt with 39 calls since 7.30 am and they were exhausted. She has been there for many years but is considering looking else where for work as are 2 of the others. Spare a thought for them . Just because you don't see people working does not mean they are not. Many years ago I was a bonus clerk and a chap said I needed to stop poncing (his words). I told him if I did and these did not reach the wages office there would be none for him next week

Inez Zbier

I wished it went the other way too, as in professionals being held accountable for the way they treat patients? NHS is not that great and most European countries have free, and statistically better, healthcare. I I know i can pay, i am not a fan of paying twice, though

Christine R

What about people who are not on line????

Nana Gerry

This may make the staff feel safer but isn't tackling the root cause of patients' frustration. Covid brought about a dramatic change in the way GPs operate which has been to the detriment of patients. Time now to get back to offering the service the general public have paid/are paying into and have a right to expect

Paige Hart

him with oaks medical and i will say doctors are amazing the worst thing about that place is the reception process rude invasive not only that but all in all when you eventually do get through to a receptionist to make an appointment they talk and act like your bothering them

Steve Street

Factually, and as told by three GP practice staff we know well, as well as one dental practice, the following. The normal and good times have changed for the nightmare we know today, and mostly down to the massive influx of you know who. All wanting to go on the NHS, GP's and dental practice patient lists. What bewilders us, is that with a 80 seat majority and past promises, why all this is not stopped and reversed ???

Lucy D18h

I can understand this , as trying to see a doctor since lockdown , has become a nightmare , we have to tell the receptionist why we are calling no privacy between patient and doctor any more .Then when you ring you might be number 50 in the queue, and why have they so many patients 15.000, money that's why .

valerie gray19

hi wonder why, i have been waiting in agony with earache for a gp appointment, last time i rang they only had one doctor the rest were all off sick, when i did see a gp he sent an emergency letter to the hospital ent dept, since i have had 2 letters, one telling me they would ring me by the 23rd may, another to say there is no appointments available, i paid in my money for 51 years, god help us.

john coup

Why do people think that they are the only person ringing for a doctors appointment, remember a lot of surgery's have anywhere over 9,000 registered patients and there is only so many people that can be seen in a day.


Most receptionists want binning off anyway. They are rude and ask very invasive questions before telling you there is no appointments even though you know there must be as the line only opened 5 minutes before you rang them.

So there you have it.

The vast majority of people phoning a doctors surgery feel they are abused and have their time wasted by rude reception staff and no matter how busy they are , THEY KNOW THE SERVICE IS STACKED AGAINST THE PATIENT SO A LITTLE SYMPATHY AND EMPATHY WOULD GO A VERY LONG WAY INSTEAD OF THROWING ABUSE BACK AT THE PATIENT.

We clapped for the NHS during Covid and almost everyone I speak to these days say they stopped when they realised how bad the service was and how appalled they were at the rude reception staff and how difficult it was just to see a doctor and many are sick of the same old excuse of Covid while the rest of us are expected to get the world back running again but doctors and their reception staff - it seems - set their own ground rules while earning more than MP's.

Hippocratic Oath

Declaration of a New Doctor

As a new doctor, and a member of the medical profession:

I solemnly pledge that I will do my best to serve humanity – caring for the sick, promoting good health and alleviating pain and suffering.

I will care for all patients equally and not allow prejudice to influence my practice.

I will respect the autonomy and dignity of my patients, and will uphold their confidentiality.

I will acknowledge my patients’ physical, psychological, and social needs and assist them to make informed decisions that reflect their own values and beliefs.

I will respect, support and give gratitude to my teachers, colleagues and all those who sustain the NHS.

I will reflect on my practice and recognise my limits.

I will seek to increase my understanding and skills, and promote the advancement of medicine as both a teacher and a learner.

I will work towards a fairer distribution of health resources and oppose policies in breach of human rights.

I will look after my own physical, mental and emotional well-being in my personal and professional life.

I shall never intentionally cause harm to my patients, and will have the utmost respect for human life.

I will practice medicine with integrity, humility, honesty and compassion.

I recognise that the practice of medicine is a privilege with which comes considerable responsibility and I will not abuse my position.

I make this declaration sincerely, freely and upon my honour.

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