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Carter defends his position: relatives should not be 'forced to plug gaps in nursing care'

  • 131 Comments

Dr Peter Carter has been forced to defend himself after he suggested relatives of the elderly should be encouraged to help care for their loved ones in hospital.

Dr Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, insisted today that relatives of elderly patients should not be forced to carry out any tasks or plug gaps in nursing care.

“We know that there are real benefits for patients where relatives can get involved in care, if that is what both the patient and family want,” he said.

“We would never suggest that relatives perform tasks that nurses are trained and paid to do, or that they should be compelled to carry out any task.

“However, we know from areas such as children’s care that having familiar people involved at mealtimes, for example, can make hospital stays in particular less stressful for all concerned.

“What we would like to see is flexibility to allow relatives to help make patients comfortable, such as extending visiting times.”

Dr Carter’s remarks come after he gave an interview to the Sunday Times where he backed an end to restricted hospital visiting times to allow relatives to help elderly patients with tasks such as feeding and going to the toilet.

NHS Ombudsman Ann Abraham said in February that the NHS needed to undergo an “urgent” change in attitude towards older people after examining “harrowing” complaints about the care of the elderly.

Last week Dr Carter said patients were being put at risk because the NHS was employing a growing number of unregulated and untrained healthcare assistants.

In an interview with The Times he also claimed a growing number of newly qualified nurses were “simply not up to the mark” because they have spent too much time in the classroom and not enough on wards.

Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association, described Dr Carter’s suggestions as “scandalous.”

“Not every patient is going to have a relative close by,” she said.

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  • 131 Comments

Readers' comments (131)

  • Someone take the gun away from this guy before he shoots himself in the other foot! For crying out loud!!!!

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  • Some people who have an elderly relative in hospital need to have a break from looking after them if they are the persons carer normally. They need to recharge their batteries, especially if they will be caring for them again on discharge. Peter Carter is wrong to suggest that visiting should be unrestricted as many patients need some rest as well as medical and nursing interventions, and they don't get that if visitors are in for many hours of the day.

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  • I think Carter is missing the point entirely! He should be discussing (or rather fighting!) for a legalised safe registered nurse:patient ratio and not how relatives can plug in the gaps. When was the last time he was on the shop floor? Because I really don't think he has a clue!

    The image of nursing is already held in low esteem by public joe and he is just making it worse. What an embarresment! He really does not represent our profession!

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  • Anonymous | 26-Sep-2011 12:15 pm
    and
    Anonymous | 26-Sep-2011 12:56 pm

    Well said.

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  • Oh dear Dr Carter, I wonder what his next gaffe is going to be? At the moment he's doing a better job at undermining public confidence in nursing than the daily mail has.

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  • Steve Williams

    Since when did we allow a DOCTOR to voice his opinions about NURSES?

    RCN = Joke

    Get over to...

    https://www.nursingtimes.net/story.aspx?storycode=5035073&PageNo=4&SortOrder=dateadded&PageSize=20#comments

    and make your voice heard...

    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!

    A little better pay and conditions might also help in the meantime but....

    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!
    NURSES WANT RESPECT!

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  • rovergirl6@hotmail.com

    I believe that D rCarter is clutching at straws
    he can see the negligence ,the lack of staff the suffering .and he has come up with a fantastic casmogorical suggestion knowing full well it is unworkable.

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  • How much does this guy get paid?
    what an idiot,and he represent nurses?

    If I was in the RCN I would resign my membership. what a disgrace. How can we restore public confidence in nursing when this man opens his mouth to speak without engaging his brain first.He should resign.

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  • So this fool will defend his position on this moronic statement, why is he not defending his position (in an open forum so we can rip him apart) on the no strike policy? On the lack of ballots to change that position and strike? On the RCNs inaction in the issues that affect us? On why he is not arguing for a Nurse/patient ratio? On the RCNs complete silence on the medias campaign against our profession? etc etc etc.

    The pompous, arrogant **** **** **** **** **** **** *****!!!!!!!!


    The sooner this fool is kicked out the better, he does not represent our profession, and neither does the RCN, and our profession would be much better off without him!!!!!

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  • Steve Williams | 26-Sep-2011 2:03 pm

    I've just been over to the Daily Mail, Kelvin Mackenzie nurse-bashing-fest, and what did I see? NURSES WANT RESPECT! ETC. Hilarious!

    I have duly copied, pasted and posted. I would encourage everyone here to flood the comments section, attached to the scummish Daily Mail article, with Steve's mantra. Let's get the message out there.

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