Managing anxious and demanding patients in general practice during COVID-19

Healthy North Coast understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for our community, and can cause increased stress and anxiety in general practice.

At times, community demand for a COVID-19 vaccine has been higher than the current supply.

Mid North Coast and Northern NSW residents are being asked to be patient as vaccine supplies continue to be delivered to our region. Community members are being reminded that it may be hard to get a Pfizer appointment until early to mid-August, however supply and access will increase over the coming months. This has caused frustration for everyone involved, leaving health professionals to manage a range of reactions from their patients, including defensiveness, anger and fear.

Our Primary Care Impact activity ‘Increase capacity of frontline staff to manage anxious or demanding patients during the COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rollouts’ can assist your team to maintain strong communication skills and staff wellbeing during challenging times.

The Primary Care Impact page includes information and resources that are applicable at any time when supporting anxious and demanding patients, but never more so than during this difficult time.

To date, 35 general practices have implemented this QI activity, many with free in-house facilitation by MediCoach. You can access a free in-house MediCoach workshop tailored to your practice needs. For more information or further assistance, contact your Primary Health Coordinator or Aboriginal Health Coordinator.

Wellbeing resources

For more information and resources on supporting clinician mental wellbeing, visit:

Mental Health Practitioner Directory

Frequently Asked Questions

Any AHPRA or AASW registered mental health practitioner providing services in the Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW.

By listing, you will let GPs, other referrers and consumers know that you are practising in Mid North Coast and/or Northern NSW. You can provide information such as where you are located, the services you provide, the population groups you support and your clinical interests.

No, the directory is a free service provided by Healthy North Coast.

This directory enables you to provide real-time information about your availability to accept referrals, as well as how long people may have to wait for an appointment. You can update this information as your availability changes. This will help GPs and other referrers ensure they only refer clients to practitioners who have the capacity to see them.

It also has a range of advanced search options and supports printing and bookmarking of search results.

You can choose to display your email address and your phone number so that people can contact you directly. You may prefer not to display these, in which case people can contact you by completing an enquiry form located in the Directory. Your choices can be updated anytime.

You can indicate wait times for an appointment for a new client or that you are currently unable to accept new referrals. You can also choose whether to display or hide your contact details. You can update your choices at any time.

Yes, you can update your listing or remove it at any time by clicking the “update practitioner details” button on your listing. You will receive a secure website link to your nominated admin email that will enable you to make changes, delete or put your listing on hold. You can also show when you are taking extended leave or are not available for a specific period, rather than completely removing your listing.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date.

You will be responsible for managing the information in your listing and ensuring that it is up to date. You will also be asked to check the information before it is published in the directory.

We will also send you an email every three months (90 days) prompting you to check that your information is up to date so that the directory displays accurate information.

You can read the full Terms of Use by clicking here.