Violent or abusive behaviour

Guardian Medical Centre takes it very seriously if a member of staff is treated in an abusive or violent way.The medical centre 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, all 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. However, aggressive behaviour, be it violent or abusive, will not be tolerated and may result in you being removed from our registered list of patient and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.

In order for our medical centre to maintain good relations with patients, we would like to ask all patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:

  • Using bad language or swearing at practice staff
  • Any physical violence towards any member of the Primary Health Care Team or other patients, such as pushing or shoving
  • Verbal abuse towards the staff in any form including verbally insulting the staff
  • Racial abuse and sexual harassment will not be tolerated within this practice
  • Persistent or unrealistic demands that cause stress to staff will not be accepted. Requests will be met wherever possible and explanations given when they cannot
  • Causing damage/stealing from the Practice's premises, staff or patients
  • Obtaining drugs and/or medical services fraudulently

We ask you to treat our staff members courteously at all times.

Should a member of staff experience unacceptable behaviour from a patient, that patient will be given a first disciplinary warning. The patient will receive a letter outlining the reason for the warning and the opportunity to appeal should they feel that the description of the events are incorrect. The exception to this would be where the patient has made a direct threat of violence or displayed physically violent behaviour, in this instance the patient would be immediately removed from our registered list of patients.

Should a second incidence of unacceptable behaviour occur within a twelve month period (or timescale stated in the warning letter), the patient will be removed from our registered list of patients. 

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, 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. This may also be the case if parents/guardians who are liaising about their children's care cannot act reasonably with our team when making contact with us.

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