This face to face workshop has been developed to support front line staff and other health care professionals in General Practice to develop their skills and confidence to better manage disputes, help manage challenging conflict situations and understand zero tolerance.

We will consider how and why conflict may arise between staff members and the patients around access to services, treatments and other aspects of practices life and will consider and reflect on ways to manage this.

Delegates will be encouraged to share challenges and conflicts they have already encountered – our facilitator will also share their experiences from GP practice. Participants will have an opportunity to practice their skills with role play scenarios.



By the end of the workshop delegates will be able to:

  • Enhance awareness of their response to different conflict situations and personality types and the effect this can have when dealing with challenging situations
  • Manage and understand the expectations, feelings, fears and needs of the patients.
  • Exhibit more confidence, motivation and control when dealing with challenging situations and complaints
  • The communication process, barriers and impact when it breaks down
  • Understand the difference between assertive, aggressive and passive behaviour.
  • Defining ‘aggressive behaviour’ and assessing when it becomes violent
  • Patient aggressive behaviour in healthcare and the common causes of this in general practice
  • Defining and understanding ‘ZERO Tolerance’

Guidance notes will be provided to support this workshop and certificates of attendance are awarded after the workshop.

Workshop Programme

Introduction, Objectives, Why are we here?…
Context, cause and communication

  • Defining ‘aggressive behaviour’ and assessing when it becomes violent
  • Patient aggressive behaviour in healthcare
  • Common causes of aggressive behaviour in General Practice
  • The attitude and behaviour cycle
  • The communication process, barriers and impact when it breaks down

Defining and understanding ‘ZERO Tolerance’

Models of Communication

  • Escalate or De-escalate
  • Managing Difficult Conversations
  • Escalating Conflict – recognising the signs
  • Take Action
  • Things to Remember…
Preparation and observation skills:

  • Inherent reactions to conflict: flight / fright / fight
  • Risk assessment
  • Using ‘Cooper Colour Coding’ to aid observation
  • Triggers / warnings, danger signs and impact factors
  • Patient behaviour: from compliance to aggravated resistance
De-escalation and conflict resolution

  • Legal aspects: common law, criminal law, CJIA and reasonable force
  • Using empathic communication skills to neutralise the situation
  • De-escalation using NLP, LEAPS, PEACE and appeal models
  • Use of space, distance, body language and personal stance
  • The ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of personal safety
  • The ZERO Tolerance policy in action
Exercise: Role play scenarios to put new skills into practice
Reflection, discussion and Final Q&A
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Contact the PMA now

If you would like more information about any of our workshops, the timings or adapting our programmes to your local needs / requirements, please call 0330 111 6459 or email

Please note that all workshops are delivered online as web workshop sessions – however, if you require face to face workshops, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss this.

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