PEOPLE are being asked to show kindness to NHS staff across the district as reports of verbal abuse rise.

Frustrations caused by the impact of coronavirus on services have led to some patients venting anger at workers in hospitals and GP practices.

Bradford district, Wharfedale and Craven health chiefs say staff across the NHS are working “extremely hard” and doing their best to help patients, whilst keeping people safe.

But some employees have felt “hurt and scared” after finding themselves on the receiving end of comments.

Dr James Thomas, a GP and the clinical chairman of NHS Bradford District and Craven clinical commissioning group, says small acts of kindness – such as a simple ‘thank you’ – can go a long way.

“Our NHS staff are just like you and equally at risk of getting coronavirus,” he added.

“They are real people behind their uniforms, from our reception staff to clinical teams such as doctors and nurses. They’re doing their very best to make sure the NHS is still here to help and that you get the right treatment from the right person.

“We know that services are a bit different to what people may be used to. Appointments are being done over the phone or virtually wherever possible and we’re asking people who can go online, to please do. I want to reassure people that if your GP thinks you need to see somebody face to face, they will offer you an appointment.

“We understand that things may be difficult for our patients at the moment, but they are also difficult for our staff. Please be kind and try to remember, we are people too.”

Brendan Brown, chief executive of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, stressed the importance of showing kindness to others.

He said: “It is understandable that people might be frustrated at the moment.

“We want to thank those who have been so patient and understanding while we once again respond to an increasing number of coronavirus cases.

“Our hospitals and GP practices are extremely busy treating people both with coronavirus and other urgent health conditions such as cancer, whilst providing essential services such as maternity care and flu clinics.

“Despite these challenges, I’m lucky enough to see kindness every day from colleagues, from patients and their families, and from our communities – which is truly inspiring and uplifting.

“We should never lose sight of what it means to be kind to one another and the impact it has.”

The NHS stresses it is ‘still here to help’. Free advice is available 24 hours a day on both the and websites.

Pharmacists are also able to help with a variety of common health issues.