IRISH doctors differ on whether growing numbers of Irish nurses are now 'too posh to wash'. The term, coined in the UK, refers to criticisms that nurses with degrees no longer want to do traditional duties such as washing a patient.
UK solicitor Peter Watkin Jones told the annual meeting of the Irish Hospital Consultants' Association in Maynooth that this change in care emerged as a problem in his investigation of the scandal at Stafford Hospital in the UK, where there was a higher rate of patient deaths.
Fergal McGoldrick, an orthopaedic surgeon in Dublin, said: "I have observed the change in nurse training, which has gone from being a hands-on, close relationship with the doctor, to one in which nursing staff have a degree and, as you say, are 'too posh to wash'." He said nurses are transferring too much responsibility to healthcare assistants.
However, Professor Paddy Broe, a surgeon in Beaumont Hospital, said it would be wrong to send out a message that "we old folks don't agree with the way nurses are trained nowadays".
Ian Carter, the HSE director for Acute Hospitals warned against over-use of agency staff, saying it can cause problems with the quality of care delivered.