A time for giving – but nurses must beware presents from patients

With nurses allowed to accept only trivial gifts from patients, the Nursing Standard podcast discusses what might be permitted

Hands holding a gift box wrapped in ribbon
Picture: iStock

Christmas may be a time for giving, but accepting a gift from a patient could land you in hot water.

While patients have the best intentions to thank nurses at Christmas, or any other time of the year, accepting a gift could be in breach of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) code.

The Code clearly states that nurses must refuse ‘all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitalities, as accepting them could be interpreted as an attempt to gain preferential treatment’.

So what is a trivial gift? And what should you do if you are given a gift by a patient?

This episode of the podcast answers those questions and more.

Paul Jebb, a senior nurse in the northwest of England and a member of the RCNi editorial board, talks to Nursing Standard news editor Andrea Downey about what the Code means and how to declare a gift.

His handy advice for nurses: if in doubt, declare.

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