"We welcome new measures to ensure that student nurses spend time working as healthcare assistants as this initial training will ingrain the importance of hands-on care and help them to recognise when standards are slipping later in their careers. Having more people in the NHS who know how to treat people compassionately and in a dignified way is a step in the right direction and we are pleased that Ministers have embraced this recommendation made by Robert Francis QC.

"The NHS is going through the biggest period of change since its inception and as the population steadily ages, it is imperative that we have more skilled, willing and able personnel in position to safeguard current and future patients. It will also be of vital importance to ensure recruitment processes attract people to a career in nursing who have the right character as well as the technical ability to do the job well."