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Nurses told to stop saying 'darling' to elderly patients because it shows 'a lack of respect'

Date Posted: 07.07.2012

Nurses told to stop saying 'darling' to elderly patients because it shows 'a lack of respect'

Staff at a geriatric hospital have been criticised for failing to respect the dignity of patients by addressing them with over-familiar terms such as ‘sweetie’ and ‘darling’.  Inspectors also singled out the use of the phrase ‘up you pop’ by nurses getting patients out of bed as unsuitable.  They said the hospital had failed to meet six out of seven essential standards and gave it 14 days to put things right.

Help with eating, drinking, washing and basic bed hygiene was also found to be inadequate at the Dilke hospital near Cinderford, Gloucestershire.
Dr Daphne Pearson of Age Concern UK said: ‘I think when people use terms like “sweetie” it’s meant to be reassuring but some would think it was disrespectful.

 

"It’s a generational thing. A lot of older people do not like familiarity and don’t even call their own friends by Christian names. Staff should ask people how they want to be addressed.’ Earlier this year, the NHS Confederation, the Local Government Association and the charity Age UK issued guidelines saying the elderly should not be called ‘dear’ by hospital and care home staff. The experts behind the non-binding guidelines suggested that using such a term might belittle patients.

Liz Fenton of Gloucestershire Care Services said: ‘We have taken this feedback very seriously and developed an action plan which has been implemented.’


 


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