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Local NHS services encourage public to ‘be kind’ to staff this Winter

NHS services in Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire are calling on public to be kind and respectful towards staff during the busy Winter period.

In recent weeks, NHS staff in hospitals and GP practices have been on the receiving end of increasing frustration from patients and families as they deal with unprecedented levels of demand for services. While most patients continue to be respectful and kind, some staff have received abuse, threats and other aggressive behaviour which can leave them feeling hurt or scared.

Staff across the NHS are working tirelessly in face of pressures increased by winter and the coronavirus pandemic. Members of the public are being encouraged to be patient as staff manage high levels of demand and to be kind wherever possible.

Eamonn Sullivan, Chief Nurse for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our hospitals are extremely busy with hundreds of people arriving at our Emergency Department every day. This is as well as catching up on services and working on the frontlines of the pandemic. We know that kindness in care improves the outcomes for our patients and their families, but kindness in the workplace also improves the experiences of our staff and colleagues; increasing job satisfaction, morale and creating a sense of wellbeing.”

Heather Howells, Mental Health Lead for Berkshire West CCG, said: “Our frontline staff in GP practices including doctors, nurses, pharmacists and receptionists are facing extremely high level of demands. When members of the public are rude or aggressive it can be deeply upsetting and have a really negative impact on their mental health. We know things can sometimes be frustrating for patients but would encourage wherever possible to be patient, and be kind – we are here to help.”

For more information on how you can support local NHS services this Winter, please visit royalberkshire.nhs.uk/winter.

If you need medical help and are unsure what to do, call NHS 111 for help and advice. They are available 24 hours a day.