NHS Zero Tolerance Policy

The practice follows the NHS zero tolerance policy and patients who are aggressive or rude to any of the doctors or practice staff may be removed from the practice list.

More information about how the Surgery deals with Unacceptable Behaviour is provided below:

Acceptable Behaviour in the Surgery Policy

It is important that our Surgery is always a safe place to visit. Patients and staff must not feel threatened.

In light of this the Surgery has clear procedures on non acceptable behaviour.

Such non acceptable behaviours include, but are not limited to:

  • any display of a violent temper
  • shouting, raised voices, sarcasm, pointing fingers.
  • repeated or insistent points being made; not engaging with staff in a positive way; being pushy or trying to indimidate staff
  • hostile or aggressive behaviours
  • threats, swearing, spitting
  • any mention or display of any object that could be used as a weapon

Patients will always be immediately warned their behaviour is unacceptable and asked to desist. Where patients do not comply they will receive a FIRST BEHAVIOUR WARNING letter. Where patients behaviour is unacceptable on a subsequent occasion, they will receive a FINAL BEHAVIOUR WARNING. Any further display of unacceptable behaviour will result in REMOVAL from the practice list.

At all times patients will be told exactly the nature of the unacceptable behaviour. Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) images or audio evidence will be retained by the practice and may be passed to the police. It is an offence under the Public Order Act 1986 to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour that cause fear of or provoke violence.

Although this procedure will be generally applied, there may be occasions where the practice team feel that an episode of unacceptable behaviour is so serious that a patient will receive either a FINAL behaviour warning or REMOVAL in response to the episode.

Where police have been called to attend the practice in response to one or more members of staff (or patients) being threatened and/or attacked (or narrowly avoided being attacked in the view of staff) the offending patient(s) will be immediately removed. Where staff feel particularly threatened, the perpetrator(s) will be removed from the practice list and registered to the Violent Patient Scheme using the crime reference number to access this service.

It is important to remember that it is not the intention of the perpetrator that is relevant, rather than the perception that is generated by the actions and behaviours of the perpetrator that will generate the practice response.

In 2014 a practice nurse working in an adjacent Surgery was stabbed to death by a patient. A risk assessment by our practice following this episode has made a close following of this protocol an important priority.

I have received a letter about my hostile behaviour, but I was frustrated with a problem!

The Surgery staff will always work with patients to resolve difficulties when they arise. This process is not helped by a hostile or angry attitude from the patient. This behaviour can make staff and other patients feel threatened. There are no situations where a forceful or belligerent approach by patients will help to sort out problems. Patients should stay calm at all times while any difficulties are resolved.