This is a wonderful idea -- maybe American hospitals will take notice and follow suit - The sooner the better
Edited to add - it should apply to family members too. They should not be allowed to visit if they can't behave themselves. Family members with disruptive or abusive behavior, even if directed at staff and not the patient, certainly don't contribute to the healing environment for the patient.
Abusive patients face zero tolerance
Patients who are violent towards NHS staff are to be barred from treatment for up to a year under new guidelines.
Health Secretary Alan Milburn says he wants to create a "zero tolerance zone" for abusive behaviour within NHS hospitals and clinics.
Patients could also face treatment bans for verbal abuse of staff, threats, vandalism and drug or alcohol abuse on hospital premises.
The guidelines, first trailed in June and due for publication later this week, will balance the duty to provide health care with the need to protect staff, Mr Milburn says.
Some 65,000 assaults on NHS staff are reported each year.
Two London hospitals - Bart's and the Royal London - have introduced their own yellow and red card system to warn abusive patients that treatment may be withheld.
In 1998, the Government announced a target of reducing violent incidents against NHS staff by 20% by 2001 and 30% by 2003.
Under the new guidelines, NHS trusts will each draw up their own local policies on what behaviour is to be regarded as meriting denial of treatment.
Mr Milburn is due to outline the plans during a speech to the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association conference in Bournemouth.
Patients will normally be given a verbal warning, followed by a written warning before being denied treatment, but in exceptional cases, when staff feel under imminent threat, care can be withheld immediately.