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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

Guardian Healthcare Professionals Network Today in Healthcare: Nurses will have to spend up to a year helping patients eat, wash and get dressed

Julia Manning, chief executive of 2020health, said:

NHS funded student nurses having to spend a year working as Health Care Assistants (HCAs) as a prerequisite for going on to degree sounds like a good idea. However, this ignores the wider issue of how older people are treated in society; what difference will it make in a society where we are not valuing older people in the way that we should?

There has been a sea change in society - the respect and deference once a given for the elderly is no longer a given. There is a more fundamental problem to be considered.

Added to this initiative implies that with this training, patients won't be neglected but we simply can't afford all the staff to give the ‘soft’ care of washing, feeding, toileting that is required - friends and family must still expect to be involved. We should think of the Friends and Family test in reverse - were you there when your relative needed you?