So, nurses are to be forced to spend a year wiping bottoms so that we can make sure that they are suitably caring people to become nurses.
I can see the sentiment, and agree with it. But the means seems to be a little obtuse. Is that the only way of making sure that someone is a caring person? Can we not, perhaps, watch them in action for a while to make sure? Do we need to take (ex hypothesi) skilled and intelligent people and make them waste a year of their time proving a point, when they could be doing something more valuable instead?
And where does the precedent take us? Doctors work alongside nurses in delivering care, I am told. So why not make them work as a healthcare assistant for a year before starting their medical degree?
I hear also that the working conditions in the Mid Staffs NHS Trust were unconducive to staff who wanted to warn management about problems. Obviously the NHS managers did not care adequately about the patients. Should they have spent a year working as a healthcare assistant first? Surely, what is good for the nurses is good for all the other hospital staff first.
And what of the Minister for Health? With responsibility for so many caring professionals, with oversight of the system for caring for the entire UK population,... well, the logic is inescapable.
And one last, quiet worry. What about the healthcare assistants? If the nurses are too posh to wash because they were never healthcare assistants, what does that say that we think the healthcare assistants are?