Treatment of Surgery Staff- Zero Tolerance Policy

Our staff come to work to care for others, and it is important for all members of the public and our staff to be treated with courtesy and respect.

In line with the rest of the NHS and to ensure this is fully observed, we have a Zero Tolerance Policy. This means that aggressive or violent behaviour towards any of our staff or any members of the public within our premises will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

What does it entail?

Anyone giving verbal abuse to members of staff, either in person or over the telephone, will be sent a letter from the Practice Manager advising that this behaviour will not be tolerated. Any further violation of this policy will result in the removal from the Practice patient list. There will be no appeals process.

We fell sure that you will understand that proper behaviour is absolutely necessary for our staff and patients and that non-observance will not be accepted.

Our GPs, nurses and our other staff have the right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused. 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 include:

  • Attempted or actual agrressive, 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.


Receptionists are the ‘front of house’ staff in any surgery. They have to juggle the demands of patients with the instructions from doctors.

Their main role at Market Lavington Surgery is to make sure you get the help you need by booking appointments. They are often extremely knowledgeable about local health services, as well as what is available to you here at the practice.

When you speak to them in the surgery or over the phone, our receptionists will ask for some details from you in order to better care for your specific situation. This is to ensure they can direct you to the best possible place or person for your care, as not everything will be relevant to a GP.

Our receptionists can advise you if your ailments would be best suited for a pharmacist, nurse, physiotherapist or GP (among other options). They also have other administrative roles such as ensuring hospital letters, patient notes and test results are filed correctly.

All practice staff are bound by strict codes of confidentiality, so any personal or medical information you pass on to them will not be abused.