Intended for healthcare professionals


NHS trusts are given new powers to bar racist patients

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 18 February 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m644


Roger Kline: What if a patient wants to choose the ethnicity of their doctor?

  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

From April NHS services in England will be able to bar non-emergency patients or visitors who inflict discriminatory or harassing behaviour on staff.1

Previously, individual NHS organisations could refuse services to patients only if they were aggressive or violent.

The news comes as results of the NHS staff survey in England show that more than a quarter of members of staff (28.5%) said they had experienced harassment, bullying, or abuse from patients, relatives, or members of the public. The 2019 survey was completed by 569 000 NHS employees (excluding those working in primary care) across 300 separate organisations in England.

It found that overall almost one in seven staff members (14.9%) had experienced physical violence. While 16.4% of ethnic minority staff said that …

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