Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I have great admiration for the nursing profession having been involved with health care workers professionally for most of my working career. In the main they do a wonderful job in poor conditions and for inadequate pay.

However, there have been tales recently of such poor nursing care in some of our hospitals, that thousands of patients have been starving and left to soil themselves in their beds.

I therefore read with interest that the NHS and nursing unions have reacted to this criticism by explaining that there are too few nurses to cope, especially at busy periods like mealtimes and therefore, they urge relatives to help in caring for the everyday needs of their hospitalised loved ones by assisting with feeding or by taking them to the toilet.

My brother, who went into hospital for an operation which was anticipated to involve a two week stay on the ward, has so far been in for four months.

I have assisted as best I can but have found this difficult since I am limited by visiting times of an hour in the afternoon and an hour and a half in the evening.

As for helping with meals, there are signs on the (often locked) door saying that meal times are 'protected'. It seems an odd idea that patients should need protection from their relatives at meal-times.

If the hospital staff would like the assistance of patients' relatives, might I suggest that we are allowed in a little more often? Perhaps also, we could be treated as an asset rather than as a nuisance.

1 comment:

  1. Well reasoned observation.I would be interested to hear views of a few nurses and sisters plus a doctors before finaliising judgement. Will the unions eventually comment that their jobs are being put at risk by the voluntary use of non qualified relatives....seem to have heard similar views many times before.