Zero Tolerance

In line with the NHS policy, the practice has a zero tolerance approach to aggression, abuse, violence, vexatious or anti-social behaviour towards our staff.

Staff managing direct relationships with the public (face-to-face, through emails, letters or telephone calls), are offered training and support to handle aggression, abuse, violence or anti-social behaviour from patients, their relatives or members of the public.

The definition of ‘vexatious’ behaviour is to harass, distress, annoy, tease, cause trouble, agitate, disturb or pursue issues excessively.

However, aggressive behaviour be it violent or verbal abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from the Practice list straight away in extreme cases.

The police will be contacted if the patient is posing a threat to staff or other patients.

All incidents of unacceptable behaviour will follow our practice policy:

  • First incident of unacceptable behaviour – Verbal warning given
  • Second Incident of unacceptable behaviour – Formal Written Warning
  • Third Incident of unacceptable behaviour – Removed from Practice list

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 only done in exceptional and rare circumstances and is the 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.

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.