The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.
We understand that ill patients do not always act in a reasonable manner and will take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. We ask you to treat your doctors and their staff courteously and act reasonably.
All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning after a second incident or removed from the practice list after a third incident if your behaviour has been unreasonable.
However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or verbal abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police will be contacted if an incident is taking place and the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.
Removal from the Practice List
A good patient-doctor relationship, based on mutual respect and trust, is the cornerstone of good patient care. The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship. When trust has irretrievably broken down, it is in the patient’s interest, just as much as that of the Surgery, that they should find a new practice. An exception to this is on immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the Police are involved.
Removing other members of the household
In rare cases, however, because of the possible need to visit patients at home it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of visiting patients where a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour resides, or being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it too difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family. This is particularly likely where the patient has been removed because of violence or threatening behaviour and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.
As a practice we must continue to follow the strict infection, prevention and control measures to limit the risk of the virus to you as patients and to our staff. This means that where possible our staff and clinicians will remotely triage and assess your needs before determining if a face-to-face appointment is required. If your needs can be met safely via the telephone or video consultation then this will take place. If a clinician feels you require a face-to-face appointment then this will be arranged. We have been operating in this way since the start of the pandemic in order to continuing providing all patients with access to our services.
The current pandemic situation is challenging for everyone in different ways and we appreciate that the situation we all find ourselves in can be frustrating sometimes. Unfortunately a number of our staff have recently experienced foul and abusive language or behaviour from a minority of patients. This is not acceptable and we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour towards our staff – all of whom continue to work tirelessly during this pandemic. In line with our zero tolerance policy, if you are found to be abusive towards members of staff then appropriate action will be taken.