A step in the right direction - nurses are invaluable in delivering quality care to NHS patients. Their absence, or if they are caring for too many patients at one time, can make a huge impact on the patient's experience and recovery .
More than 5,000 new places on nursing training courses are to be created each year as part of government efforts to boost the NHS workforce in England. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said more current NHS staff would be able to retrain as nurses through a four-year apprenticeship at local hospitals. Announcing what he said was a 25% total rise, he told the Tory conference "our NHS is nothing without its nurses". He also said all NHS staff would be offered flexible working arrangements. The Royal College of Nursing says there are 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service while the Nursing and Midwifery Council warned this summer that the number of people leaving their register was outstripping those joining and the trend was accelerating.