A Basildon doctors surgery has issued a warning, after patients have contacted them and abruptly demanded they be given the Covid vaccine.

Bosses at the Kingswood Medical Centre, on Clayhill Road, say the practice is taking a zero tolerance stance against such behaviour.

The team say reception staff have been spoken to in an aggressive manner by a number of patients, and have warned that those who continue to be rude or inappropriate run the risk of being removed from the practice list.

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A spokesperson from the Kingswood Medical Centre, posted on their Facebook page: "We understand that there is much concern about vaccination availability. I am a firm believer that patients may turn to aggressive or abrupt behaviour due to there not being adequate information available. Which is one of the reasons that these posts have surfaced during this complicated time (Covid Vaccination programme).

"A number of patients have been contacting the surgeries and quite abruptly demanding that they be vaccinated. Reception staff have been spoken to in an aggressive manner by a number of patients.

"On behalf of all NHS staff we would like to bring the following to your attention. We run a zero tolerance policy:

"1. Patients who contact the surgeries and continue to be aggressive/rude/unsavoury or inappropriate run the risk of being removed from the practice list.

"2. Contrary to popular belief, being abrupt etc to reception staff will not change your eligibility for the Covid vaccine.

"3. Each day different clarifications are required. Sometimes a patient will call asking if they are eligible and the receptionist may not know. They may ask you to hold or even be called back later to make sure that you fall within the category. Please be patient as this is the correct process.

"4. The Surgery is not responsible for the number of vaccines available or the type of vaccine that is delivered to the Centre. If you are only interested in one particular vaccine then you may have to wait until this type of vaccine is delivered.

"5. The Surgery is not responsible for the changes to the 12 week programme let alone the receptionist who is actively trying to ensure that patients do not attend a clinic where they will be sent away.

"The essence of this post is to acknowledge that the admin and clinical staff work extremely hard in difficult circumstances to try and ensure a smooth as possible.

"I would however like to say that the majority of phone calls from patients have been pleasant. It is unfortunately a small number that can have a long lasting negative effect."