Mr Royles said:
"The Willis Commission's report is another useful contribution to the debate, but we need to look at it in the context of the real challenges that NHS employers are facing on a daily basis.
"Employers are as passionate about providing high quality care as the nurses they employ, but they are operating in an increasingly challenging environment. Employers want to provide high quality care while coping with limited resources, increasing demand for services, and rising expectations from patients and their families. It would be great to see a report that truly recognises these very real challenges.
"I understand the move to make nursing an all-graduate profession. However, it is essential that we continue to value the fantastic contribution of the many nurses that qualified through a different route. They are the backbone of the NHS and will continue to be so for years to come. We must value their fantastic work and we cannot let them be seen as second class carers.
"I recognise the call to regulate healthcare assistants but I am not sure what problem mandatory regulation is trying to fix. You can't regulate for a smile and comforting words when dignity is required. Regulation does not guarantee compassion. Let's not confuse being unregulated with being untrained. This is the sort of view that undermines the great work and commitment of our health care assistants. I believe that the significant costs associated with regulation would be better spent on recruitment, improved training and supervision, and mentoring for newly qualified health care assistants.
"I welcome this focus on nursing, but let's work together to ensure that we deliver a really great multidisciplinary workforce that delivers high quality care for our patients. That's what employers across the NHS want to see."