Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt hit back at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) today after they said the government's plans to reform nursing training in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal was a "really stupid idea."
Hunt accused the RCN of allowing its trade union role to trump its duty as a Royal College to raise standards within the profession. Social Affairs Correspondent Penny Marshall reports.
Speaking earlier today Hunt said:
He also said many nurses supported his planned changes, which would see new nursing recruits work for 12 months as a healthcare assistant before qualifying, and the reformed training would allow people to go into the industry "with the right motives."
David Cameron also defended the plans, saying it was important that the nursing profession learned the lessons of Mid Staffs, and that the new training regime needed to have a "caring" focus.
Royal College of Nursing chief Dr Peter Carter said the problem with poor care was caused by low levels of staff and overwhelming workloads for nurses.