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Zero Tolerance

The practice supports the government's 'Zero Tolerance' campaign for health service staff, and takes it extremely seriously if ANY member of our staff is treated in an abusive or violent way.

The Zero Tolerance campaign states that GPs and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being verbally and/or physically attacked or abused. In order to successfully provide GP services to our patients, a mutual respect between the practice team and our patients must exist. All of our members of staff aim to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all patients’ individual needs and circumstances. However, we would respectfully remind patients that very often our staff can be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult and challenging tasks and situations, all at the same time. The practice team does understand that ill patients do not always act in a reasonable manner, and this will be taken into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding and/or complaint.

However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.

In order for the practice to maintain good relations with our patients, the practice expects all of our patients to read and take note of the following types of behaviour which will not be condoned:

  • Using bad language or swearing - either at practice staff or at other patients/visitors
  • Any physical violence towards any member of staff or other patients/visitors, including pushing or shoving
  • Verbal abuse towards our staff in any form, including verbal insults
  • Racial abuse and sexual harassment will not be tolerated within our practice
  • Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to our staff will not be accepted; requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
  • Causing damage and/or stealing from the Practice's premises, staff or patients
  • Obtaining drugs and/or medical services fraudulently
  • Posting abusive/threatening messages/posts on social media
  • Any behaviour which results in a member of our practice team feeling uncomfortable, scared and/or intimidated

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 practice, 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.

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 on the practice register could put our staff at risk.

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