Abuse and violent patient guide

  • Safety

This supports practices in developing risk mitigation measures, responding to incidents and taking the appropriate steps following an incident.

Consideration has been given to the common violence triggers and how team members can respond to reduce the risk of escalation. The guide outlines and encourages the practice to review the preventative measures they already have in place, including considering the practice environment, local social media posts about the practice and staff training in both customer service and responding to escalatory behaviours, with the aim of reducing the risk of escalation.

An example practice policy of how to respond to patients who are abusive or violent has been included, as well as the Londonwide LMCs’ guide on removing patients correctly from the registered list. We recommend that practices review these alongside their own policies and regularly review and update current policies relating to abusive and violent patients.

Clear policies are important but ensuring that these are understood by all team members and all team members have undergone training in dealing with these situations, is essential to responding appropriately.

Practices have a duty to staff and service users to maintain a safe environment. All staff undergo training to prepare them to respond to other emergencies, such as a cardiac arrest, preparing and training to safely respond to abusive or violent patients should be considered in the same way. Londonwide LMCs believe that the approach outlined in this guide forms an essential part of our commitment to promote safe general practice.