Zero Tolerance Policy

As an employer, the Practice has a duty to care for the health and safety of its staff.  The Practice also has a legal responsibility to provide a safe and secure working environment for staff.  All patients are expected to behave in an acceptable manner and violent or abusive behaviour towards staff or patients may result in removal from our Practice list or even criminal proceedings. The Practice follows the NHS guidelines concerning Zero Tolerance.

The Practice has a policy of of 'zero tolerance' of verbal and physical violence towards GPs, staff or other patients.

The Practice will take steps to remove any patient from the Practice list who is aggressive or abusive towards a doctor, member of staff, other patient, or who damages property.  All instances of actual physical abuse on any doctor or member of staff, by a patient or their relatives will be reported to the police as an assault.

We expect all patients to be responsible and avoid attending the surgery under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Any alteration of prescriptions is illegal and will not be tolerated.

If you are seriously unhappy with the quality of service you have the right to register with another Practice without notifying us. Similarly, on the very rare occasions when a patient repeatedly ignores their responsibilities to the Practice, we have the right to remove the patient from our Practice list.

Examples of Unacceptable Behaviour
  • Violence
  • Excessive noise e.g. recurrent loud or intrusive conversation or shouting
  • Threatening or abusive language involving swearing of offence remarks
  • Derogatory racial or sexual comments
  • Malicious allegations relating to members of staff, other patients or volunteers
  • Offensive sexual gestures or behaviours
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs on practice premises
  • Drug dealing on practice premises
  • Willful damage to practice property
  • Threats or threatening behaviour
  • Theft

Zero Tolerance

Our staff have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times. They should be able to do their jobs without being PHYSICALLY or VERBALLY ABUSED.  Most people respect this.

Anyone found abusing the staff in person or on the telephone will be entered into our Inacceptable Behaviour process, as defined below.  Ultimately this can lead to removal from our patient list.  This behaviour will NOT be tolerated.

Inappropriate Behaviour

Any behaviour deemed by a member of staff to be inappropriate, including offensive language, aggression and harassment or threatening behaviour, will result in the incident being logged and a formal letter or warning being issued.

If three such warnings are issued, an application will be made for removal of that patient from the practice list.

We will contact the Police in the event of any violence and an immediate application for removal from our list will be made.

Removal from the List

In exceptional circumstances, a breakdown may occur between a doctor and his/her patient. If the breakdown is of a serious nature e.g. significant physical or verbal abuse to any member of the practice team, the doctors may feel that the doctor / patient relationship has been compromised. Steps may be taken to have the patient removed from the doctor's list.

In this case we would follow our Inappropriate Behaviour procedure.  A decision will be made by the Practice management and partners about whether or not a formal letter of warning should be issued. If three of these are issued within a 10 year period an application will be made to the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) for the patient to be removed from the Practice list.

Where possible, conciliation would always be the preferred route. Reasons for removal will be given in writing.