GP contract strengthens protection against violent patients

GP practices have been handed clearer powers to refuse to register violent patients under the GMS contract for 2018/19.

Violent patient (Photo: JH Lancy)
Violent patient (Photo: JH Lancy)

The revised contract clarifies that GP practices can refuse to register people with a 'violent patient' flag on their medical record, under existing rules that allow them to turn away patients where there are 'reasonable grounds' for doing so.

Following talks on the 2018/19 GP deal, NHS England and the GPC agreed that where patients are flagged as violent, this constitutes reasonable grounds for a practice to turn them away. Patients whose records carry this warning can also be removed from practice lists if they are registered by mistake.

The clarification comes after a GPonline poll earlier this year revealed that GPs face a growing risk from violent patients. One in three GPs have felt threatened by a patient and one in six say they or a colleague have been attacked in their practice in the past year.

GP leaders have been calling for some time for tougher rules to protect practice staff against patients who have a history of violence in NHS services.

Read more
>
GP contract for 2018/19 to deliver £256m funding rise in England
>
Summary of changes to the GP contract
>
Premises cost directions offer full grants for building improvement
>
Dr Krishna Kasaraneni: Contract brings stability and opens path to key talks

Guidance on the revised contract from the BMA and NHS Employers says that patients refused registration or removed from practice lists under violent patient rules will be able to access general practice services through the national 'special allocation scheme’.

NHS Employers guidance says: 'Where patients are removed under violent patient provisions, further care will be managed in line with agreed national policies, including where appropriate special allocation schemes.'

Responding to GPonline's findings earlier this year, GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: 'Any violent or threatening incident towards a GP or member of the practice team is one too many, but for so many GPs to report this type of incidents in the last year shows the impact of being on the front line of the NHS.

'Many practices operate zero tolerance policies but they don’t always feel that they are properly supported by local commissioners. We all need to do more to make it clear to patients that threatening and violent behaviour will not be tolerated and that robust action will be taken if it occurs.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

NHS Employers updates guidance for assessing COVID-19 risk in BAME staff

NHS Employers updates guidance for assessing COVID-19 risk in BAME staff

Updated guidance to help GP practices assess and mitigate the risk staff from black,...

PHE unable to confirm it will meet deadline for COVID-19 risk report

PHE unable to confirm it will meet deadline for COVID-19 risk report

Public Health England (PHE) has been unable to confirm if its report into how factors...

More than half of GP locums have seen a significant drop in income due to COVID-19

More than half of GP locums have seen a significant drop in income due to COVID-19

More than half of GP locums have experienced a significant fall in their income during...

How a GP helped develop a protective shield to cover patients needing CPR in the pandemic

How a GP helped develop a protective shield to cover patients needing CPR in the pandemic

Wiltshire GP Dr Lydia Campbell-Hill explains how she helped create a mini isolation...

GP practices can now sign up to new online PPE portal

GP practices can now sign up to new online PPE portal

GP practices will be able to register with the DHSC's new online PPE portal, which...

Fully-qualified GP workforce fell by 712 over the past year

Fully-qualified GP workforce fell by 712 over the past year

The fully-qualified GP workforce in England fell by 2.5%, losing 712 full-time equivalent...