Violent incidents at GP surgeries have doubled in less than five years, according to figures from police forces across the UK.
An investigation by the British Medical Journal found the number of assaults at surgeries and health centres resulting in injury had almost doubled too.
Police forces recorded 1,068 violent incidents between 2021 and 2022, up from 586 between 2017 and 2018.
The chairman of the Royal College of GPs called the findings “unacceptable”.
The pandemic has been cited as a cause for the increase in violence, as services came under more pressure.
Some patients also believed services had closed altogether, leading to added frustration.
It revealed there were 182 assaults resulting in injury in the last year – almost double the 98 recorded in 2017-18.
There was also a large increase in malicious communications including letters and emails.
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