Every day, staff in Kendal doctor’s surgeries receive verbal abuse from patients which causes distress.  The last 12 months have proved very challenging to everyone, but verbal abuse is not the answer.

We are asking that all staff are treated with respect.  It is important to remember that they are trying their best to help you and the way they are spoken to will often stay with them long after their working day is done.

Here is a video highlighting  some examples of the things people say Watch #TheAbuseMustStop Video

#BeKind #TheAbuseMustStop #NotInaDaysWork

@JCP_GP @StationHouseGPs @CFSKendal

Kay Keane, a practice manager Stockport spoke to BBC Breakfast highlighting some of the comments GP practice staff up and down the country are currently experiencing.

Watch the clip here Watch #TheAbuseMustStop Interview

We know that people are often stressed and anxious when they contact the GP practice, and just want their own problem sorting out, but please remember that UK NHS General Practice is a hugely underesourced and understaffed public service. We are a finite resource under immense pressure, and more people that ever are coming to their GP practice as other services are currently restricted. Please #BeKind and #BeAPatientPatient

The Practice takes it very seriously if a member of staff is treated in an abusive or violent way.

The Practice 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.

Our Practice staff are recruited and trained to be polite, helpful, and sensitive to all patients’ individual needs and circumstances. They will, if necessary, 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 rational 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 patients being removed from the Practice list and, in extreme cases, the Police being contacted.


Unacceptable behaviour

In order for the practice to maintain good relations with their patients the practice would like to ask all its patients to read and take note of the occasional types of behaviour that would be found unacceptable:

  • Persistent shouting and demanding of Practice staff
  • 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 your GPs and the practice staff courteously at all times


Removal from the Practice List

The removal of patients from our list is an exceptional and rare event and is a last resort in an impaired patient-practice relationship. We value and respect good patient-practice relationships based on mutual respect and trust. When trust has irretrievably broken down, the practice will consider all factors before removing a patient from their list, and communicate to them that it is in the patient’s best interest that they should find a new practice. An exception to this is in the case of immediate removal on the grounds of violence e.g. when the Police are involved.

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 to ensure the safety of practice staff.

The prospect of visiting patients that share residence with a relative who is no longer a patient of the practice, or the risk of being regularly confronted by the removed patient, may make it difficult for the practice to continue to look after the whole family. This is more likely where the removed patient has been violent or displayed threatening behaviour, and keeping the other family members could put doctors or their staff at risk.

If you would like to see a full copy of our Violence and Aggression (Zero Tolerance) policy, please ask at reception.