This health centre is situated in a suburb of a major city, on a large
housing estate. The centre is responsible for 16 500 patients in an area where
there are high levels of social deprivation. The centre is the base for general
practitioners, administrative staff, and other medical specialists, including district
nurses, health visitors, chiropodists, and a community psychiatric nurse.
- Rudeness, threats, abuse to receptionists - when patients cannot
be seen immediately.
- Rudeness, threats, abuse to medical staff – when the treatment
offered does not meet patients' expectations.
- Physical attacks – when dealing with visitors who are under
the influence of alcohol or drugs, or those with mental illness.
Reducing the risks
Training and information
- All staff are made aware of the factors which place them at risk
- Receptionists are experienced in assessing body language and other
cues, to help identify those who may become violent or abusive.
- Individual booths installed in the reception area to ensure client
- Panic alarms are linked to the local police station.
- Telephones are fitted with a button that broadcasts difficult conversations to colleagues.
- External CCTV is installed.
- Staff use coded messages to alert other staff to a potential problem.
- A local policeman makes random visits.