This site is intended for health professionals only

Patient charged after hospitalising practice staff

by Jess Hacker
20 September 2021

Share this article

A man has been charged with assault after attacking four members of staff in a Manchester GP practice.

Two staff members were taken to hospital and treated for head injuries shortly after the assault, which took place at Florence House Medical Practice in Manchester on Friday (17 September).

Dr Tracey Vell, chief executive of Manchester LMC, confirmed on Twitter that staff were left with ‘deep lacerations’, while one GP had a fractured skull.

She reported that the attack was carried out by a patient, aged 59.

Greater Manchester Police have said that the man was charged with:

  • Three counts of section 18 assault
  • One count of a section 47 assault
  • One count of malicious communications
  • One count of affray

It also confirmed he has been kept in custody ahead of an appearance at Manchester Magistrates Court today (20 September).

Manchester Health and Care Commissioning confirmed this morning that the practice will remain closed temporarily.

Call for Health Secretary to act

The incident comes amid growing criticism of the Government’s apparent lack of support for GPs and primary care staff facing abuse from patients.

Last week, the Institute of General Practice Management (IGPM) co-signed a letter to the Health Secretary Sajid Javid criticising a ‘lack of central support, or public challenge by Government’ of increasing instances of violence.

Shortly after the Florence House Medical Practice assault, the IGPM again tweeted to Mr Javid asking: ‘What are you doing to help? When will you reply to our letter of concern?’

Separately, Mr Javid had said: ‘Violence against those working in the health service is unacceptable.

‘NHS staff work tirelessly to care for patients and shouldn’t have to fear for their safety.

‘We’re doing all we can alongside the NHS to protect staff from abuse and bring offenders to justice.’

NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard similarly denounced the attack as ‘unacceptable’.

Meanwhile, BMA GP committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey urged the Government to ‘act, and fast, before yet more incidents of this severity occur’.

He added: ‘Those who commit heinous acts such as these must be dealt with by the law and is vital that governments, and every national and local health body does much more to ensure the safety of staff working at practices who are clearly being placed at increased risk by the current anti-GP rhetoric.’

As many as 75% of practice managers, practice nurses and GPs have suffered verbal abuse from patients during the course of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, with GPs cautioning this may worsen during the Covid booster and flue campaigns this winter.