Abuse Policy


Different Care Holdings Ltd believes any act of aggression, violence or intimidation, both physical and non-physical from any member of staff, service user, visitor or the public is unacceptable. The Company is committed to the creation of a culture and environment where employees may undertake their duties without fear of abuse or violence.

As an organisation, we are committed to introducing measures, through the Zero Tolerance Policy and relevant guidelines, to reduce risk and to have procedures in place that will enable staff to manage appropriately an aggressive or violent situation should it arise.

All staff have a vital role to play in protecting themselves, including participation in appropriate training, Different Care Holdings Ltd has a responsibility to ensure that appropriate support is given to staff in such instances.

  1. Aims

This policy aims to outline the organisations’ commitment to the safety of its employees, local contractors and their staff, provide clear lines of accountability and engender a working environment that embodies the rights and expectations of both staff and service users.

  1. Areas of accountability

3.1 Organisational responsibility

It is the responsibility of the organisation to develop policies, procedures, systems and environments that reduce the risk of violence and aggression.

Different Care Holdings Ltd recognises that it is an integral part if the community which it serves and its overall policies and procedures directly affect what happens at the interface between staff and clients.


Different Care Holdings Ltd undertakes to:

  • Identify as far as reasonably practicable, the potential for violence, aggression and vexatious behaviour arising in the workplace, including those most at risk
  • Take practical steps to eliminate/reduce the risk
  • Identify safe working practices and provide training for staff appropriate to their needs e.g. de-escalation training, breakaway, care and responsibility
  • Ensure security management specialists are available to advise and attend appropriate meetings
  • Maintain an effective reporting system

The current version of this policy is held on the Different Care Holdings Ltd website. Check with the internet that this printed copy is the latest issue.

  • Ensure arrangements are in place to treat known violent service users
  • Investigate significant incidents
  • Take appropriate action against service users who assault, threaten or abuse staff
  • Provide support to individuals who have been a victim of assault or abuse
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of any measures undertaken

3.2 Work team responsibility

Policies and systems determined at organisational level have to be incorporated into procedures and practices at team level. It will be the responsibility of managers, GP’s and work teams to ensure that this occurs and to report any areas of concern.

3.3 individual responsibilities

Every individual has a responsibility to follow safe working practices and co-operate with the employer to promote safety at work. In the community, where individuals are often working alone or in small groups, they also need to remain watchful of their own safety and that of their colleagues.

Individuals have a responsibility to report incidents of violence and aggression, including verbal abuse.

Different Care Holdings Ltd does not expect staff to place themselves at risk to protect or prevent damage to or theft of property. Different Care Holdings Ltd does not expect staff to place themselves at risk in order to deliver care.

  1. Assessing the risk of violent behaviour

4.1 Violent behaviour

Violence is defined as “any incident where staff are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances related to their work, involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, well-being or health.”

Violent incidents do not necessarily have to cause physical harm. They can:

  • Involve a threat, even if no serious injury results
  • Involve verbal abuse
  • Involve non-verbal abuse, for example gestures
  • Involve other threatening behaviour, for example stalking
  • Require first aid only
  • Require medical assistance
  • Cause major injury

4.2 Risk Assessments

Different Care Holdings Ltd has developed a strict procedure that must be followed in order to provide services to service users who are persistently and abusive.

Where this relates to primary care services staff should refer to the Zero Tolerance.

Patients Scheme (protocol for dealing with violent patients), which is a mechanism for implementing sections 202 and 203 of the GP GMS contract.

When dealing with a known or suspected violent or abusive individual, under no circumstances should staff see such people on their own. They should seek advice from their Line Manager and Security Personnel before face-to-face meetings are arranged.

Liverpool Risk Register and must be reviewed on a monthly basis by the relevant manager or when there is a change in circumstances.

In making a risk assessment the following may indicate that there is a risk of violence:

  • Dealing with intoxicated or distressed members of the public
  • Dealing with patients suffering from mental illness or stress
  • Patients who are confused/ disoriented/ suicidal/ known criminal history
  • High-risk areas such as contentious issues or complaints or staff working alone
  • Tasks where money, drugs or other valuables may be target of theft
  • When withholding or withdrawing a service
  • Irregular situations such as where persons known to be potentially violent are referred to other disciplines or services

The list shown above is not exhaustive and managers must take care to assess all.

Possible personal security risks within their responsibility.

Police assistance should be sought where the presence of drugs/ weapons has been detected or to deal with violence or threatened/ suspected violence.


4.3 Processes for staff following violent or abusive behaviour

All instances of actual or threatened violence and aggression must be reported in accordance with Incident Reporting Policy.

All staff who are subjected to violent/abusive behaviour should report such incident to their line manager with whom referring the matter to the police will be considered.

Incidents of violence and aggression can have a detrimental effect on the victim out of proportion to the scale seen by outside. Managers are to ensure that staff are properly cared for and debriefed immediately, or as soon as is reasonably practicable, after each such incident(s). Even those staff not directly involved can be subject to anxiousness and concern. It is important that all staff are informed as soon as possible of the basic details of the incident and any counter measures planned.

Counselling is available in strict confidence, to all staff via the Employee Assistance Programme, first assist.

Different Care Holdings Ltd will make training available in the management and handling of violence and aggression, based on the training needs analysis.

In any cases where a member of staff feels that an individual has behaved in an unprofessional or inappropriate manner, the relevant Line Manager must be informed of the occurrence and an Incident Form.

In all instances the service may be suspended with immediate effect to protect the staff. Upon investigation the service may be reinstated or will be withdrawn with immediate effect.

When the management receive a complaint of abuse by a staff member the local authority will be notified immediately and they will be informed whether the service is going to be suspended in order for them to step in and arrange alternative services.