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Standards of conduct for patients and visitors

Communication is an integral part of everyday life. Everyone today uses mobile phones, cameras, tablets, laptops, video recorders etc. as communication tools to chat with friends and family. It is regarded as an important necessity for some.

Patients and visitors to the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) premises who use such devices, however, must be mindful of the need to respect peoples’ right to privacy and the need for courtesy, quietness and politeness when using such gadgets. All patients and visitors have a right to be treated with dignity and to enjoy their privacy and comfort during their stay with us.

The GHA therefore has a legal duty to ensure it provides:
  • A safe and secure environment to its patients, staff and other people;
  • To protect patients’ privacy and dignity;
  • To ensure the security and operation of electronically sensitive devices.
  • Maintaining Privacy and Confidentiality
Patients and visitors are therefore asked:

Not to take photos, record mobile/video footage of patients and staff; or upload such material to social media, for example Facebook, Twitter etc. without the person’s explicit consent as this is an infringements of a person’s right to privacy;

To refrain from making mobile calls where it would be inappropriate to do so, for example in bed areas where patient conversations can be overheard by other visitors. The use of mobile phones should always be kept to a minimum, wherever possible.

The use of camera phones and other photographic/video devices results in the creation of personal and sensitive data which is a breach of the Data Protection Act without the explicit consent of the individual(s) involved. The GHA has a strict policy forbidding the use of recording devices including photographs, video and audio.

Anyone caught breaching the GHA policy on patient/staff confidentiality may be asked to leave.

Sensitive Medical Equipment

Patients attached to medical equipment are also discouraged from the use of mobiles where the interference is regarded as high and potentially may pose a risk to patient safety.

Unacceptable Standards of Behaviour

The GHA has a Zero Tolerance policy for intrusive, violent or aggressive behaviour and will take decisive action to protect its staff, patients and visitors.

Examples of unacceptable standards of behaviour whilst on the GHA premises are as follows:

  • Making malicious allegations about staff, other patients or visitors;
  • Derogatory racial or sexual remarks;
  • Offensive sexual gestures or behaviours;
  • Threats of threatening behaviour;
  • Wilful damage to GHA property;
  • Theft (e.g. theft of devices, information etc.);
  • Excessive noise e.g. recurrent loud or intrusive conversation or shouting;
  • Threatening or abusive language involving swearing or offence remarks.

Anyone who behaves in an unacceptable manner may have their right of access to GHA premises restricted and may be subject to criminal prosecution.

The GHA will press for the maximum possible penalty available in law for those convicted of a criminal offence on our premises.

All incidents are to be reported to the Patient Advocacy & Liaison Office.

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