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Preventing and managing patient violence and aggression

6/09/2021 Written by

This article is over 2 years old

Preventing and managing patient violence and aggression

The RACGP has developed a brief guide designed to support GPs and their practice teams in identifying and managing incidents of patient aggression and violence.
Unfortunately, general practices have reported increasing occurrences of patient aggression and violence in the context of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Frequent changes to eligibility criteria at state, territory and federal levels, combined with the issue supply not being able to meet demand, have resulted in patient confusion and, at times, frustration and aggression directed at the practice team.  
The guide addresses common questions from practices about dealing with aggressive or violent patients:

  • How can our practice team respond to an act, or threat, of aggression or violence?
  • Can our practice discontinue care when safety concerns exist?
  • Can our practice disclose an act, or threat, of violence by a patient?
  • How can we create a safe practice environment and team?
The guide includes templates for GPs to use or amend when issuing warning letters, placing patients on acceptable behaviour agreements, or discontinuing care for patients at your practice.
The college has also developed posters that teams can display in their practice to inform everyone that aggression and violence will not be tolerated.
Read the guide and download the posters.

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