Zero Tolerance is an unfortunate part of working within the NHS. The NHS is the most abused staff body in the country; there are 200 assaults on doctors, nurses and other NHS staff in England every day. Fortunately incidents of Zero Tolerance are rare within our surgery group, but incidents do happen. Since 2003 the NHS has had a zero tolerance approach to aggression towards it’s staff. This includes both physical and verbal aggression. Where appropriate, the NHS will prosecute individuals who are aggressive towards NHS staff, any other patient, visitors or other persons working within the practice.
• The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines violence at work as “any incident in which an employee is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.” This covers the serious or persistent use of verbal abuse – which the HSE says can add to stress or anxiety, thereby damaging an employee’s health. It also covers staff who are assaulted or abused outside their place of work – for example, while going home, while working in the community or while travelling as long as the incident relates to their work.
• Aggression is regarded as threatening or abusive language or gestures, sexual gestures or behaviour, derogatory sexual or racial remarks, shouting at any person or applying force to any Practice property or the personal property of any person on the Practice. This would cover people banging on desks or counters or shouting loudly in an intimidating manner.
Our practice staff are here to help you. Our aim is to be as polite and helpful as possible to all patients.
If you consider that you have been treated unfairly or inappropriately, then please ask for a copy of our complaints procedure, alternatively this can be downloaded from our website. Our Senior Management Team take all complaints seriously and will investigate them fully.
However, shouting, swearing, being verbally or physically aggressive will not be tolerated under any circumstances and patients who are abusive may be removed from the patient list and may face criminal conviction.