New rules to be enforced in April means that “sexist” and “racist” patients could be refused non-emergency care at the National Health Service (NHS).
At the moment, staff can only refuse to treat patients who are in non-critical condition, and are verbally aggressive or physically violent towards them.
This will now be extended to any harassment, bullying or discrimination, meaning that “homophobic, sexist or racist remarks” can lead to a patient being refused care at British hospitals reports Sky News.
The Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, has told NHS staff that it is not part of their job to put up with abuse in any form.
The most recent NHS staff survey interviewed 569 000 employees.
More than one in four NHS staff said that they had experienced harassment, bullying or abuse.
Almost 40 000 of those who had responded to the survey, 7.2%, claimed they had faced discrimination from patients in the last year, with the majority of the discrimination being claimed to be racism.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that “It is appalling that this happens at all. Even more so that it happens disproportionately to black and minority ethnic staff.”
The Department of Health and Social Care said that a new agreement that has been made between the police, the NHS and the Crown Prosecution Service will make it easier to investigate and prosecute assaults or “hate crimes” against staff.
In Britain, the definition of a “hate crime” is that the alleged victim, or a witness only needs to perceive something as a hate crime, for it to be a hate crime.
No evidence is needed to bring a criminal complaint against someone for a hate crime”, as “reporting…is subjective and is based on the perception of the victim”.
Police in Britain have recorded nearly 120 000 “non-crime” hate incidents that may have prevented those accused from getting jobs, the Telegraph reported.