STAFF at a GP site in Wantage have issued a stark warning to patients amid a wave of abuse aimed at them on a daily basis.

The Newbury Street Practice on Mably Way was forced to publish an open letter to users in the town about the increased pressure on its employees during the last few months of the Covid-19 crisis caused by shortage of workforce and redeployment.

Despite the success of its vaccination programme, which has delivered more than 20,000 jabs locally, the site has endured 'surprising levels of rudeness and aggression' from patients.

A lengthy letter published by the practice earlier in May addressed some of the pressures staff are currently experiencing.

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It said: "Locally, we have had to deal with a significant shortage in manpower, which has also been reflected nationally.

"We have continued to deliver the vaccination campaign and we are very grateful to have been supported by volunteers in this.

"But both the planning and the delivery of the vaccines still involves significant numbers of staff from the practice.

"I know that this has meant that some of you have had difficulty in arranging an appointment so wanted to let you know that we are doing everything we can to address the problems you might be experiencing."

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GPs at Newbury Street are also spending more time doing administrative work outside of surgery hours to ensure that they have more time during the day for their patients.

In addition, the practice revealed that it has had difficulties recruiting more doctors but they are continuing to advertise widely.

The letter added: "Whilst I understand your frustration with the pressures in general practice, the tone taken in many of the messages has had a very demoralising impact on the staff, particularly the patient co-ordinators who are on the frontline and have to endure surprising levels of rudeness and aggression from a small minority but unfortunately on a daily basis."

Many patients reacted to the letter with praise for the healthcare professionals.