The Guardian view on attacks on NHS staff: a grim and growing problem | Editorial
Rising levels of aggression directed at nurses and others can only worsen the crisis facing the health service
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, the country had not long ceased its weekly clap for carers. This ritual had its detractors (who thought it sentimental, or that extra pay would be preferable), but it focused attention, and gratefulness, on a cohort who were bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The pandemic is not over, but earlier this month a survey found that more than a third of doctors have recently experienced verbal abuse and sometimes physical threats. In hospitals, it was most often nurses who were abused, while 96% of GPs had seen it happen to receptionists. Midwives report being physically threatened. Some NHS workers are beginning to hide their badges in public.