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Patient Behaviour

Riccarton Clinic is commited to a health service that provides a safe and healthy environment. The vast majority of patients interact with us in a polite and pleasant manner despite being unwell or concerned for someone they are close to. Regrettably not all do.

Posted on 12 September 2019 |

The purpose of this information is to describe unacceptable patient behaviour and the consequences of it. Most of the patients using our services will find the behaviour listed here both unacceptable and alien.  It is for the few people, and rare instances, that this information has been written.

Riccarton Clinic is commited to a health service that provides a safe and healthy environment. It is our objective to provide you, our patients, with the high quality, effective, medically necessary health care treatment you deserve. The doctors, nurses and staff commit to you that they will treat you with respect in an environment of care that is healthy and safe for you and all of our patients, nurses, doctors and other staff.

In order for us to meet our objective and honour our commitments to you, you must cooperate with your doctors and nurses and not disrupt the environment of care. Cooperation with the doctors and nurses means that patients will take medications as prescribed and will cooperate with treatment, therapies and diagnostic procedures. Disrupting the environment of care means behaviour or activities that are unsafe, insulting, and inappropriate in a medical setting. If you fail to cooperate with your treatment or diagnostic tests or disrupt the environment of care we cannot deliver the care that you and our other patients require.  Failure to cooperate deminishes the therapeutic relationship between the patient and the doctor.  If this continues it may be appropriate for the patient to either be seen by another doctor at Riccarton Clinic or transfer to another medical practice.      

Behaviour such as persistent non-payment of fees; theft of property belonging to Riccarton Clinic, our staff and other patients; verbal abuse; verbal threats (see below); intimidation; sexual harrassment; physical violence; possession of weapons; possession of drugs and alcohol, is totally unacceptable and will have consequences. 

Other unacceptable behaviour whilst within Riccarton Clinic includes using sound- or noise-producing devices; sleeping or dozing; the consumption of food or drink (other than the water provided or takeaway coffee); the use of skateboards; being improperly dressed; inconsiderate use of the car park; allowing children to disrupt other patients; and any other activities that the Manager considers inappropriate in and around the building. No animals are permitted other than properly identified and controlled service animals for disabled persons. 

Patients should know that Riccarton Clinic is a non-smoking environment and that most areas of the building are monitored with closed circuit television cameras. Images will be shared with authorities if relevant.

If you demonstrate any of the unacceptable behaviour above you will be asked to cease immediately. If you persist in disruptive, threatening or unsafe behaviour you will be asked to leave. If you refuse to cease the behaviour or leave the Police will be called and and a Trespass Notice will be raised. The consequences of this are that you will have to transfer to another medical centre and this may interfere with the continuity of care for your medical conditions.

Low level behaviour of the type described may cause us to insist that you sign a Patient Charter with us. This is a contract under which you personally commit to behave in an appropriate manner towards us and our staff and to not engage in disruptive behaviour.  Provided that your behaviour improves no further action will be taken.

Verbal threats to staff: There is a zero tolerance approach to verbal threats of violence towards our staff. All threats of this nature will be reported immediately to practice management and they will inform the person threatened. The threat will also be reported to the Police at the earliest opportunity for them to keep on record. At the threatened person's discretion the person making the threat may be trespassed from the Clinic. In most cases this is expected to occur, only in rare circumstances will this not occur.

This guide to patient behaviour is to be applied to all patients uniformly and consistently.

A printable copy of this information can be downloaded from here.