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It can be difficult to refuse a well meant gift from a grateful patient or family member. If you are a nurse or a midwife, the Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) Code section 21 states you should:
Uphold your position as a registered nurse or midwife. To achieve this, you must....refuse all but the most trivial gifts, favours or hospitality as accepting them could be interpreted as an attempt to gain preferential treatment.
You can seek support from your manager who, in line with local policy, may be able to help you politely decline the gift.Back to contents
If you are aware that a patient, an ex-patient or a family member is considering leaving you a gift in a will, you should document this at work and seek immediate advice from your manager. Discuss section 21 of the NMC Code with them.
The NMC would be concerned that preferential treatment could be given in these circumstances and that it could undermine the public's trust and confidence in you.
If you have unknowingly been left a bequest in a will, ask yourself the following questions:
If the answer is ‘no’ to the above questions, it would seem that by accepting the bequest you are not in contravention of the NMC Code but there have been occasions when nurses have been asked to justify their position.
Read your employer's policy on gifts.
Whether to accept or not is ultimately a decision for you to make.Back to contents
There is nothing in law preventing a nurse, midwife or healthcare practitioner from being a witness to a will.
It is worth bearing in mind the following points before agreeing to do so: