Zero Tolerance Policy

The Practice takes it very seriously if a member of staff or one of the doctors or nursing team is treated in an abusive or violent way.

The practice supports the government’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ campaign for Health service Staff. This states that GPs and their staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused. To successfully provide these services a mutual respect between all the staff and patients has to be in place. All our staff aim to be polite, helpful and sensitive to all patients’ individual needs and circumstances. They would respectfully remind patients that very often staff could be confronted with a multitude of varying and sometimes difficult tasks and situations, at the same time. The staff 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.

Zero Tolerance Policy

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 their patients, the practice would like to ask patients to read and take note of occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:

  • Using bad language or swearing at practice staff
  • Any physical violence towards members of the Primary Care Team, or other patients
  • Verbal abuse towards the staff in any form including verbally insulting the staff
  • Any form of racial abuse or sexual harassment
  • Persistent and unreasonable demands that cause stress to staff. Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
  • Causing damage or stealing from the practice premises
  • Obtaining drugs or medical services fraudulently

We ask you to treat your GPs and their staff courteously at all times.


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 practice, that they should find a new practice. Removal from the list would follow immediately after a violent incident in which the police had needed to become involved.


Removal of other members of the household

Following the removal of an individual from the practice list for the reasons stated, it may be necessary to terminate responsibility for other members of the family or the entire household. The prospect of staff, either at the practice or on a home visit, having to regularly deal with a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice by virtue of their unacceptable behaviour could present an ongoing difficulty. For this reason where removal from the list has been following violent or threatening behaviour, the practice is likely to remove all family members from the list in order to protect doctors and their staff form ongoing risk of abuse.

Thank you taking the time to read this document through. If you are happy to abide by these principles we would ask that you sign the form in the New Patient pack stating that you have read, understood, and accept our zero tolerance policy.