WINCHESTER medical staff are facing daily abuse as patients clamber to get Covid booster jabs.

At least one city surgery reports constant aggression from people unhappy at the time taken to be seen.

One surgery manager Philip Heiden is urging patients to have more understanding during the jab rollout.

Mr Heiden at St. Paul’s surgery said: [It is] “verbal mainly. Over the phone or in person. Shouty, sweary, demanding, refusing to leave, just all unpleasant.

“I urge patients to wait their turn to be invited and to be appreciative of the health service is grime times. Abusive and threatening behave towards anyone will not be tolerated and will not make a difference to gaining your appointment sooner. We work to rules not who shouts the loudest.”

Mr Heiden paid tribute to the staff and volunteers helping with the vaccinations: “I would like to publicly thank anyone (staff, volunteers, supporters) who have helped make the Winchester PCN Badger Farm Community Centre Covid vaccination hub the successful centre it is today. I think the resilience and bravery of all is outstanding, considering we are a year on into the project, which for many is on top of their busy day jobs and lives.”

He said nationally most practices are moving towards recording calls.

It comes as the vaccine roll out surpassed 106,000 doses in Winchester, as St Clements, St Paul’s, Friarsgate and Badger Farm Community Centre work in collaboration to vaccinate the Winchester population, administering on average 3,200 vaccine per week, dependant on stock levels.

But an issue of availability of some vaccines has arisen. A Winchester patient, who wishes not to be named, has found a “flaw in the system” when booking the vaccine. He said all three surgeries have a good programme in place, as well as Badger Farm, but it is based entirely on Pfizer, which some patients are unable to have due to a history of serious allergic reactions. He said his only option was to book an appointment or attend a walk-in centre and hope they have AstraZeneca.