Unacceptable Behaviour and Zero Tolerance

The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. This policy aims 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 consider this when dealing with a misunderstanding or complaint. Therefore, 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. Any repeat instances of unacceptable behaviour within 12 months of the first letter will result in removal from the practice list.

However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or verbally 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. Removing patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and 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 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. For example, 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.

Copies of this policy are available on request at the surgery’s reception desk.