17th July 2023

Derbyshire NHS Trust takes a stand against abusive behaviour

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire Constabulary are working together to combat abuse, discrimination or aggression against NHS workers.

Chief Constable Rachel Swann and NHS Trust Chair Julie Houlder have put their names to a new Zero Acceptance poster campaign which is designed to give a clear message to everyone in health service settings that any anti-social or aggressive language or behaviour is unacceptable.

The two poster campaign leaders were photographed with the new poster at Derbyshire Constabulary headquarters. Although the poster is designed for health service settings the impact of anti-social and abusive behaviour is equally pertinent to those serving in the police and across the public sector.

Photo of Julie Houlder and Rachel SwannJulie Houlder, who has been Chair of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust since January and who has many years of Board-level NHS experience, said: “As a health service whose function is to look after people, it’s vitally important that we nurture an inclusive environment.

“That means making it plain to everyone that we will not accept any sort of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour about the colour of someone’s skin, their sexual orientation or any other protected characteristic.

“People have a right to come to work or come in for treatment or to visit someone in hospital, without experiencing comments or behaviours which make them feel uncomfortable or upset. This poster campaign sends that clear signal and we are delighted to have the support of the police who are doing so much to combat hate crime in communities.”

Chief Constable Rachel Swann said: “Anyone can be a victim of hate crime, because we all have a sexual orientation, race, gender identity and religion or belief (even if it is no belief).

“Hate crime should not be tolerated anywhere in our communities, that is why we at Derbyshire Constabulary are showing our support to the Zero Acceptance campaign to protect our NHS workers.  

“The police are here for everyone, to ensure that no one has to feel intimidated or suffer violence or abuse because of something which makes them who they are.”

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust has active staff networks to support black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues, LGBT+ colleagues, those with disabilities or long-term conditions and those who are armed forces veterans.

Tracey Brailsford, who chairs the LGBT+ network, said: “We know the corrosive impact of prejudicial comments and behaviours on people’s wellbeing and mental health.

Our Trust is no different from any other workplace in dealing with these situations, but one incident is one too many and we are determined to show that abuse, discrimination or aggression to staff, patients or visitors is unacceptable.”

The posters are being displayed at all hospitals and health centres run by Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and you can find these locations on the website: https://dchs.nhs.uk/our-services-and-locations

The Trust recently launched a video animation to help people understand the impact of microaggressions – these can be comments, questions or attitudes people experience because of their ethnicity, sexual orientation or other protected characteristics.

Zero Acceptance Poster


  • No abusive behaviour
  • No discrimination
  • No aggression

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire Constabulary working together

The Trust Board takes the view that any abuse, discrimination or aggression by patients or relatives against our staff is totally unacceptable. We are committed to a peaceful and dignified work environment. Verbal or physical assault and/or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated here at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust.

Staff should not suffer abuse, discrimination or aggression from those they are trying to help.