Councillor under fire after comments labelling GP receptionists 'Rottweilers'

By Joel Moore

A leading Nottinghamshire councillor has come under fire for comments that compared the behaviour of GP receptionists to Rottweilers.

Councillor Sue Saddington, made the remarks whilst chairing the Nottinghamshire County Council Health Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday (September 7).

Towards the end of the meeting, when discussing access to primary care, the Conservative councillor said she wanted to relay concerns made to her by her constituents, which included comparing the staff to the guard dogs.

“When I speak to the residents that complain I say to them ‘why don’t you report your practice?’ Sometimes they say they don’t know who to report to,” she said.

“But the main thing is we need to get past receptionists to get an appointment, and if we complain they’re like Rottweilers and they’ll cross us off their list and we won’t have a GP.”

Cllr Saddington, who represents Farndon and Trent on the county council, then went on to launch an attack on receptionists.

“The whole attitude of receptionists without a shadow of a doubt needs to be looked at,” she said.

“They’re rude, they’re short, they’re curt and people don’t like it. And so they won’t complain because they’re frightened of retaliation from the so-called Rottweilers that they refer to.”

Dr Irfan Malik, senior partner at Elmswood Surgery in Sherwood, called Cllr Saddington’s comments “unfair” and “completely uncalled for”.

“Being a GP receptionist is a very tough job and they are under a lot of pressure," he said.

"They receive a lot of abuse, even on a daily basis, from people ringing up and demanding appointments.

“For [Cllr Saddington] to make these generalised comments and to say that something has to be done about them, I just thought it was completely uncalled for and doesn’t help the current situation that we’re in."

He added that he felt the councillor “should reflect on those comments and look into the issues in a little more depth.”

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