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The big question: should non-clinical staff help to feed patients?


A trust in Yorkshire is asking porters and cleaners to feed older patients due to a shortage of nurses.

Managers at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust want non-clinical staff to spend two hours of their working week assisting nurses with basic duties on wards.

The idea has been adopted at the trust’s three hospitals in Wakefield, Dewsbury and Pontefract. The trust recently cut more than 60 nursing posts in order to save £20m.

The Royal College of Nursing has expressed “huge reservations” about the move, warning that patients will not be properly cared for because the staff involved do not have clinical training.

But managers at Mid Yorkshire insist their plans will help provide patients with the “best possible care” and give non-medical staff the chance to gain more experience of working directly with patients.

Should porters and cleaners be asked to fill staffing gaps? What do you think?


Readers' comments (4)

  • The porters and domestic staff are fully occupied with their own jobs.

    However, I would love to see the be-suited office lizards charged with the "simple" task of feeding of the elderly.

    Perhaps after being spat at, scratched or hopefully having a whole plate of food thrown at them these office based know-alls will determine more nurses are, indeed, required !

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  • Jenny Jones | 29-Jul-2013 3:01 am

    there is no reason whatsoever that they should not help where help is needed!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Jenny Jones, I quite agree then the silly Yorkshire Management would not be quite so quick to make 60 nurses redundant next time; when they should actually have made 60 of their penpushing hot air spilling Management redundant instead.

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  • They have their own work load, and like us nurses, are also busy!

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