Student nurses will be required to spend a minimum of 12 months carrying out basic duties such as washing and dressing patients before becoming fully qualified under new reforms announced today (Tuesday March 26th).
The move has come in the wake of the Mid-Staffordshire hospital inquiry, which highlighted serious neglect and poor standards between 2005 and 2008.
It is believed placing student nurses on wards in roles normally occupied by healthcare assistants will help them to learn the caring skills required for when they become fully-fledged nurses.
Announcing details of the change, health secretary Jeremy Hunt encouraging compassionate care in the NHS is "a priority".
"These measures are about recruiting all staff with the right values and giving them the training they need to do their job properly, so that patients are treated with compassion," he added.
At this stage it is unclear whether these additional duties will form part of a nurse's degree.
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