'Physical assault' at The Village Surgery in Lostock Hall as manager urges: 'Abuse has to stop now'

The practice manager of The Village Surgery in Lostock Hall has called for a stop to 'abuse' of NHS staff after an employee was allegedly attacked yesterday.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 6:54 pm

Aimee Clay, manager of the surgery in William Street, said a member of staff had been "physically assaulted" yesterday (October 5).

Ms Clay appealed to members of the NM Health Innovations Facebook group for information about the culprits, and alleged that a "group of local teenagers have been persistently abusing our staff at this site in particular."

"After speaking with local residents I believe this particular group of youths are well known in the area for similar abuse to the residents, especially the elderly," she continued.

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The manager of The Village Surgery in Lostock Hall said a member of staff was physically assaulted yesterday (October 5).

"I am in contact with the authorities and local CCTV units and we are seeking out any information any residents may have on this group as this abuse simply has to stop now.

"We have, in common with all other NHS establishments, a zero tolerance policy to verbal and physical abuse of staff, and we feel very strongly that our staff should be able to go about their work without having to suffer such abuse.

"Further, we are disappointed to report that this is not the first incident of abuse that our staff at the Lostock Hall surgery, and indeed many other regional and national surgeries have suffered recently. Sadly, it appears that such incidents are on the increase across the UK with incidents targeted to NHS employees, both admin and clinical."

Ms Clay said she had no choice but to lock the surgery doors from 6pm until closing time - but patients are still able to phone and visit the surgery for appointments.

But enquiries in person must now be made through a telecom system.

Security had also been employed to protect staff at all sites under the NM Health Innovations umbrella, including Adlington Medical Centre, Buckshaw Village Surgery, Croston Medical Centre and Eaves Lane Surgery.

"As a practice manager, with a long career within the NHS, I have never experienced such volumes of abuse, both verbal and physical towards our NHS employees," Ms Clay continued.

"Since the start of COVID-19 in March 2020 we have seen the abuse rise dramatically with regular abuse posted on social media platforms, along with daily face-to-face intimidation and abusive calls towards all members of our practice teams I regularly have to console my employees after experiencing unacceptable abuse.

"The ‘clap for the NHS’ was short lived and now a distant memory in comparison to how we are now subjected to daily verbal and physical abuse nationally."

Lancashire Police has been contacted for comment.