Zero Tolerance of Abuse Policy in Healthcare Settings

The hospital can be a stressful place, especially for patients who are attending with injury or illness, but also for visitors and for staff. Most people show the courtesy and patience that is expected when they come to hospital with family or friends. Unfortunately however there have been occasional incidents in which members of healthcare staff have been subject to verbal abuse and threats while they are trying to go about their duties.

No-one should be expected to put up with aggressive behaviour at work, and the Health and Social Care Portfolio will be adopting a zero tolerance approach to abuse of staff. Anyone behaving inappropriately will be required to leave the hospital premises, and in the event of non-compliance or aggravated abuse (for example racial insults or physical abuse) the police may be involved.

Such events are fortunately rare, and we would again like to thank the vast majority of people who treat our staff with respect and understanding.

If patients or visitors have concerns about treatment being received at the hospital, or the actions of healthcare staff, they are encouraged to report this through the appropriate channels and by using the hospital outpatients’ complaints procedure. The complaints form can be provided at the hospital or found on the SHG website through www.sainthelena.gov.sh/public-services/hospital/.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Peter Moss, said:

“We hope that everyone has enjoyed the holidays, and wish you a happy New Year. We would like to thank all those health and social care staff who have been working over the Christmas and New Year period, keeping essential services running and looking after our patients and clients. I am very proud of the commitment and dedication shown by the staff of the Health and Social Care Portfolio, in what are often challenging circumstances, and especially so over the festive period.”

Minister for Health and Social Care, Martin Henry, said:

“Whilst it is understandable that some health matters can be stressful for patients and their families, there is no excuse for abusing staff. Staff are there to provide care and support and should be able to go about their duties with confidence. To that end, a zero tolerance approach to abuse is being implemented and we will not hesitate to ensure this is complied with. Doing so will ensure that staff are able to provide the best level of care possible to patients when they most need it.”

Source: St Helena Government