NHS staff on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic are facing increased hostility and aggression, according to a health board.

Senior managers at NHS Lanarkshire have said violence towards staff will not be tolerated.

Heather Knox, chief executive of the health board and Ross McGuffie and Val de Souza, chief officers of North and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships, issued a plea for the public to be kind to frontline workers.

"The majority of the public have been very supportive of our staff and we thank them for that," they said in a statement.

"Sadly, however, we are hearing reports that, in recent days and weeks a minority have been engaging in behaviours and attitudes towards some of our staff that are completely unacceptable.

"We wish to make abundantly clear to those who would engage in any form of violence or aggression - it never has been tolerated, it will certainly not be now.

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"We are continually working in partnership with local police in the management of aggressive and violent individuals and we will continue to do so."

They said 2020 has been an "extremely challenging and trying year for everyone" and it has meant "changes in how health, social care and other public services are delivered".

The statement added: "People of Lanarkshire should be absolutely assured that our staff and partners, despite invariably carrying personal worries and apprehensions of their own, remain resolutely committed to providing the best possible care.

"We are hugely thankful to them for their resilience - as are the vast majority of people who recognise their ongoing efforts and have shown patience and understanding.

"As we continue into the winter months we'd plea to people to keep bearing with us.

"Crucially, please be kind to our staff who are committed to caring -- no matter the circumstances."