A guide to preventing and managing patient-initated violence
General practice teams need to work together to ensure that all individuals (patients, carers, staff and others) remain safe while within Australian general practices.
General practice – A safe place is intended to help GPs and their practice teams proactively prevent and manage the risk and incidence of patient-initiated violence.
Studies indicate that more than 60% of Australian GPs and their practice teams experience some form of patient-initiated violence each year. The most prevalent forms of patient-initiated violence are verbal/written aggression, followed by property damage and theft, then physical assault, sexual harassment and stalking.
As employers, GPs also have responsibilities under occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation to protect colleagues and staff by identifying and controlling risks associated with all forms of occupational violence.
The tips and tools included throughout the guide are for use in response to imminent or actual threats to personal safety. They are not intended to assist with the day-to-day management of ‘difficult’ patient encounters, nor for conflict resolution.