Zero tolerance policy

Zero Tolerance Policy


We treat our patients with courtesy and respect and ask for the same in return. We ask that you treat all Practice Staff courteously– without violence, abuse or harassment.

The Practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance Policy. The aim of this policy is to tackle the increasing problem of violence against staff working in the NHS and ensures that doctors and all other staff have a right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused.

We understand that patients who are ill do not always act in a reasonable manner and we take this into consideration when trying to deal with a misunderstanding or complaint. We ask that you treat our staff courteously and act reasonably. Any behaviour, verbal or physical, which causes staff to feel uncomfortable, embarrassed or threatened, is totally unacceptable.


The Zero Tolerance policy includes aggression or threats made in person, over the telephone or in written communication. The Practice considers threatening behaviour to be:

◦Attempted or actual aggressive threatening physical actions made towards any member of staff.

◦The use of aggressive, threatening or abusive language, (including raising of the voice, swearing and cursing, shouting) which threatens or intimidates staff.

This policy applies throughout the premises. It also applies to any employee or partner away from the Practice but only in so far as it relates to the business of the Practice.

All incidents will be followed up and you will be sent a formal warning letter. A further incident of abusive or unreasonable behaviour will result in you being removed from the Practice List immediately.


In extreme cases, the Police will be contacted (if an incident is taking place and you are posing a threat to staff or other 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 Practice 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 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, 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. 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 staff at risk.

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