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Zero Tolerance

The practice has a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to patients that treat any member of staff in an abusive, threatening or violent manner.   All members of staff have a right to care for patients without concern of being abused, threatened or attacked.

We expect our staff to treat patients in a polite, helpful and respectful manner, and we also expect patients to provide our staff with the same level of respect. 

We understand that there may be times that patients act out of character due to illness, pain or worry, however, aggressive/abusive behaviour towards staff will not be tolerated and may result in the patient’s removal from the practice list.  A good patient-doctor relationship is based on mutual trust and respect, but this can be broken due to a poor patient-practice relationship, and sometimes it is in both the patient’s and the practice’s interest for the patient to find a new practice.

All instances of unacceptable behaviour are documented by practice staff and are discussed at a practice meeting.  The following types of behaviours in or around the Health Centre, or over the telephone, would be found unacceptable to the practice and our staff:

  • Any physical violence towards staff, including pushing/shoving
  • The use of bad language towards staff
  • Verbal abuse in any form towards staff, including insults
  • Racial abuse/language
  • Sexual harassment
  • Persistent and/or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff (requests will be met whenever possible and explanations given when they cannot)
  • Any unlawful activity, e.g. theft, vandalism, fraud

In some instances we will report incidents to the Police.  The patient will be given the opportunity to amend their behaviour, with the practice providing a warning that the Police will be called.  If the Police are called, the patient will be removed from the practice list.

If a patient is unhappy with any aspect of the service provided by the practice this should be voiced appropriately, either by arranging an appointment to discuss the issue with our Feedback and Complaints Officer or by writing a letter of complaint.