Standards of behaviour for patients and visitors

At Somerset Foundation NHS Trust, we operate a non-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 our sites are as follows:-

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

Maintaining privacy and confidentiality

The use of mobile devices, smart phones, tablets and digital cameras are an important way of keeping in touch. We have a legal duty to protect the privacy, dignity and confidentiality of both our patients and colleagues. Therefore, filming and photography is not permitted unless prior permission has been sought, in writing, from our communication’s team.

You should never:

  • Take anyone’s photo without prior permission, including colleagues or members of the public in the background of your photos, for example in busy waiting areas. It is important to remember that taking a photo or video could breach another patient’s privacy and cause them distress.
  • Make video calls in a way that means the other person can see any other patients, visitors or colleagues.
  • Make calls or use your phone in a way that disturbs other patients or the delivery of care.


Filming and photography on trust premises is only authorised with advanced written consent from our communications team (recordings may be taken by patients as part of clinical consultations or treatment by way of note-taking however we recommend that you discuss this with your clinician, in advance of your consultation).

  • No patient or colleague may be filmed or photographed without consent. Written authorisation will be given on the understanding that consent can be withdrawn, if either a patient or colleague withdraws consent at any time.
  • In the event that written authorisation is granted this must be subject to strict supervision to ensure peripheral patients/colleagues are not captured.
  • Filming/photography must not interfere with the provision of services and our patient and staff safety is paramount at all times. Our procedures including infection control measures must be respected and followed.
  • We retain the right to review any footage/material to ensure privacy and confidentiality has not been breached and the content must only be used for the purpose identified in the original application.

Failure to comply with our terms and conditions

In case where standards of behaviour, patient confidentiality and/or the privacy rights are not upheld those in breach of these term and conditions may be asked to leave trust premises. We will support criminal proceedings where it is appropriate to do so.