Medical staff in one of Scotland’s largest health boards have warned the levels of abuse directed at them is worse than ever before.
NHS Lanarkshire said frontline health workers had been reduced to tears by aggressive verbal attacks.
Managers believe it is fuelled by the rising number of patients on hospital waiting lists since the start of the Covid pandemic two years ago.
Staff are now being given special training to handle such behaviour.
A social media campaign, urging patients to be respectful, has also been launched to highlight the issue.
Mr Docherty, NHS Lanarkshire’s executive director of nursing and midwifery, told BBC Scotland: “We are getting more and more concerns expressed by our staff and it is starting to feel quite personal in some of the abuse that they are facing.
“A number of the nursing staff, HPs [health professionals], everyone, are saying the abuse they are facing is something they have never experienced in their career before.”