Nurses are being told not to call older patients "dearie" or "love" as they are deemed as offensive under new guidelines from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Nurses have been told to use patients' preferred names and should speak "courteously and respectfully" to ensure dignity in care according to the NMC recommendations.
The guidelines, which are constructed around the views of older people, say poor communication can have serious consequences and can damage the relationship between a nurse and an older person. But terms of endearment can be used in some areas if they are part of everyday speech-it may appear unusual if they are omitted, the draft guidance says.
The Conservatives have branded the new guidance as "ridiculous". Shadow health minister Anne Milton said using terms of endearment do not conflict with patients being treated with dignity and respect. "I think most people will see guidance such as this as the world having gone mad," she says.
The Guidelines have been backed by The Royal College of Nursing.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, told NHS 247: "For a long time we've been saying that nurses should ask patients how they would like to be addressed. Addressing patients properly is one small step that staff can and have taken to improve care."
NMC Council members will review the Guidance for the Care of Older People next week, Nursing Standard magazine reveals. It is hoped the new guidance will challenge poor standards of care and judge staff performance. They cover issues including respecting privacy and providing fundamental care like adequate fluids assistance with eating and personal hygiene when required.
What do you think about the NMC guidelines asking nurses to stop using the terms 'love' and 'dearie' when caring for older patients?
Do you think that these terms are patronising or offensive?
Do you think changing the way elderly patients are addressed will help ensure dignity in care?
Or do you think such guidelines are unnecessary?