Patients warned of zero tolerance approach after staff face discrimination in COVID-19 pandemic

Patients have been warned that consultations could be cut short under a zero tolerance policy towards discrimination, after staff reported cases of unacceptable behaviour during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A senior GP and a nurse at the Haxby Group - which operates from 11 practices across York and Hull serving more than 60,000 patients - have recorded a YouTube video explaining the problem, and calling for greater awareness from patients of behaviour that can be discriminatory.

The video features RCGP vice-chair Professor Mike Holmes - a partner at the Haxby Group - and practice nurse Louise.

Louise explains in the video that since the pandemic began she has faced questions about her ethnicity. 'In the last few weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve noticed some patients’ behaviour has made me feel quite uncomfortable,' she says.

'I’m here to look after your healthcare needs, my heritage is not relevant to providing you with care. Whenever I encounter this behaviour it has a negative effect on my wellbeing. It’s upsetting to me and it is not something I feel should happen in today’s society.'

Professor Holmes says in the film: 'If this behaviour happens during any encounter with any member of our practice team, if clinically appropriate, then that interaction will be halted immediately and further steps will be taken as appropriate.

'We ask all our patients to support us as we continue to provide a caring, quality service to all our patients.'

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