Zero Tolerance

Polite Reminder

We recognise that life has changed for all of us and over recent months we have been required to adopt a different way of working.

We appreciate that that may be challenging for some of our patients. It has also been challenging for our staff.

We are doing our best to provide access to health care at a time when demand is unprecedented. We have worked continuously during the pandemic and have done so alongside managing and staffing a COVID vaccination programme based at a different site.

This has reated considerable pressure at a time when staff are also struggling with their own personal challenges brought about by the pandemic including loss, ill health and bereavement.

We have become aware that our staff have been subject to regular levels of verbal abuse and aggression from some patients and relatives. This is not acceptable to us as Partners and managers at Witterings Medical Centre. Our resource is finite and our staff have been directed by us to ask questions of patients regarding their health query in order to direct your request to the most appropriate person or service. We ask that you help our staff do that and that you do so in a courteous and respectful manner. Please consider the impact of your conversation on our staff members.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the majority of our patients who have been understanding and supportive and have adapted to the changes that have needed to be made and to thank our staff for the dedication, professionalism and hard work over the last year for which we are very proud and appreciative.

Zero Tolerance Policy

  • This Practice considers aggressive behaviour to be any personal, abusive and aggressive comments, cursing and / or swearing, physical contact and aggressive gestures.
  • No abuse of staff is acceptable whether verbal or physical.  All abuse will be reported to the Practice Manager who will keep a log of all incidents. 
  • All physical abuse towards any of our staff by our patients is reported to the police.  The patient will then be removed immediately from our list.  If the police are not informed, the health authority will inform the patient of the need to register with a new Doctor.  In these circumstances, the doctors are still obliged to see the patient if they come into the surgery within the next seven days. 
  • Any physical abuse by a person not registered with this surgery is to be reported to the police by the Practice Manager, wherever possible.  The Practice Manager or person in charge of the patient’s own surgery will be informed.
  • Any incident of verbal abuse whether in person or on the telephone will be reported immediately to the Practice Manager and recorded in the log book kept in the reception area.  If appropriate, the Practice Manager will discuss the incident with one of the GPs and a formal letter will be sent to the patient warning that any further abusive behaviour will result in removal from the list.  A copy will be kept with the medical records.  Any response to the letter will be recorded in the log book and the letter will be kept on file.  The log book will be reviewed weekly and discussed if necessary at the staff meeting.
  • If a patient’s name appears a second time in the log book, the patient will be removed immediately from the list and a letter will be sent to the patient confirming this. 
  • If the patient is from another practice, the Practice Manager will report any incident to the Practice Manager or person in charge of the patient’s own surgery and requesting action to be taken.
  • All incidents will be reported to the Practice Manager or to a GP (in the absence of the Practice Manager) who will take appropriate further action.