04 / 1 / 2013 Midnight
NHS Employers and the NHS Confederation welcome the prime minister's support for the nursing agenda.
Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, said:
"Employers are determined to ensure that they deliver high quality and compassionate care to patients. This increased investment in training and development is welcome and will help staff manage patients with dementia, surely one of the biggest challenges we face in the health service today.
"The renewed focus on supporting healthcare assistants to progress into nurse training is great news. This has always been a valuable way of supporting those with the ability and the right values to enter the nursing profession.
"Using champions and care makers whether on the wards, in the community or at home is a positive way of improving patient care and will complement what many employers are doing in local trusts. Evidence shows time and time again that engaged staff with the right training deliver better care for patients."
NHS Confederation chief executive Mike Farrar said:
"The NHS is totally committed to this agenda. We have got to ensure that a culture of compassion is running through the veins of every place that provides care, no ifs, no buts, and no exceptions.
"We know we have a way to go and the NHS must fully embrace this challenge on behalf of the public. I have been talking to many NHS organisations that are showing real commitment and making significant strides in the right direction.
"It's good to see the prime minister personally getting behind this issue. And overall these plans add up to a sensible package with the new drive around the training of care assistants particularly welcome."
He added: "We need to improve the way we gather feedback from patients and the friends-and-family test is a step forward. It's important however to take account of other measures and to build a rounded picture of care so organisations and patients are not responding to an unduly simplistic picture.
"Most important of all, it is critical to remember that none of this will happen because of politicians, civil servants or commentators. What the NHS must do to deliver is harness the energy, ownership and leadership of our people - from the ward to the board - in every NHS organisation around the country."