Zero Tolerance Policy

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.

As an employer, Roselawn Surgery has a duty of 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.

The practice has therefore adopted a policy of Zero Tolerance to verbal and physical violence towards GPs, staff or other patients.

All patients are expected to behave in an acceptable manner and violent or abusive behaviour towards staff or patients may result in removal from the practice list or even criminal proceedings.

The practice will request the removal of any patient from the practice list who is aggressive or abusive towards a doctor, member of staff, other patients or any other person who is legitimately on the premises. This includes damages to property or theft of property.

All instances of actual physical abuse on any doctor or member of staff, by a patient or their relatives or representatives 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.

Examples of Unacceptable Standards of Behaviour

  • Violence
  • Excessive noice eg recurrent loud or intrusive conversation or shouting
  • Threatening or abusive language involving swearing or offence remarks
  • Derogatory racial or sexual remarks
  • Malicious allegations relating to members of staff, other patients or visitors
  • Offensive gestures or behaviours
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs on practice premises
  • Drug dealing on practice premises
  • Wilful damage to practice property
  • Threats or threatening behaviour
  • Theft

This list is not exhaustive.

Our GPs and staff have the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times.

They should be able to carry out their professional duties without being physically or verbally abused or feel threatened or frightened during their working time. Any person who is found to have breached this policy will be considered for removal from the practice list.

Decision for removal will be taken following discussion with the partners and senior staff unless the incident is of such extreme nature that it is necessary to report it to the police.

In these circumstances the patient will be removed under the NHS England Immediate Removal guidelines.