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Review into nurse training announced

A review into the training of nurses has been announced, with the aim of ensuring "respect and dignity" for patients becomes a top priority. 

The Shape of Caring review will be carried out by Lord Willis of Knaresborough, who has previously worked on reports for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on nurse education. 

Shape of Caring will look at the education and training of all nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants before qualification and through their careers. 

There will also be a focus on hiring nurses with "the right values" as well as recruiting older nurses from other careers. 

Lord Willis believes that nurse recruitment has been "too focused on graduates". 

He also said healthcare professionals should take more responsibility for their work and should be held accountable for their failings. 

He said: "This is not about hospital brochures that say 'we put patients first'. This is about changing the culture, leading by example and challenging poor behaviour. At the core of this should be caring for the patient. 

"Somehow, amid all these initiatives, that has been lost, and that is what we need to restore." 

The review will be launched next month by Health Education England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. It is due to publish findings by February 2015. 

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "The NHS is already rising to the challenge - post-Francis we have 2,400 more nurses on our wards, greater transparency, and compassionate care replacing tick-box targets. 

"This new review will bring together experts from across the health sector to help train the next generation of nurses and midwives." 

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN said: "The vast majority of nurses are highly caring and compassionate, upholding the traditions and values of profession, and putting patients first to provide the best possible care despite often difficult circumstances and overstretched resources.

“Any drive to ensure the culture in all organisations in the NHS is one that puts patient care first is welcome. Nurse education and recruitment is just one aspect of this drive, along with strong leadership and the right numbers of staff in the right areas.”