Main Content

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

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

Mail Online Patients' families told to 'help nurses feed and wash them' in hospitals by controversial report into pressures on NHS

-Relatives should help feed and wash patients to ease pressure on hospital staff
-Report - called Too Posh To Wash - will be sent to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt
-It calls for help from family and friends of patients to be 'mandatory' like jury service

Families should take on the role of nurses by helping to feed and wash patients to ease pressure on busy hospital staff, a new report has said. As well as basic nursing duties, relatives should also be on hand to help patients to the toilet, it was claimed.

The report, created by think-tank 2020health, says such duties should be mandatory in the same way as jury service. 'Too Posh to Wash', which will be sent to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, claims that nurses are finding it impossible to meet all patients needs as the number of elderly people with complex conditions, such as dementia, rises.

Julia Manning, founder of 2020health, said the rules should be laid out in the NHS Constitution, making it compulsory for relatives and friends of patients to help unless they have a reason they are unable to - in much the same way as jury service. She said that many stories of substandard care stem from patients not having help with basic needs such as assisting to the toilet, feeding and drinking. She said: 'If you have 20 patients all being served lunch as the same time and 15 need help with eating, it is an impossible task.' She added: 'There is an opportunity here for the government, society and the NHS. 'The financial reality is that we simply can’t afford to employ ever more NHS staff to meet the needs of older people in hospital, who make up two thirds of inpatients with 30 per cent of them having dementia.

'The NHS of today has completely different demands upon it compared to sixty years ago, and we have to adapt to this.