Baroness Audrey Emerton tabled a question for debate on the Government's response to the Willis Commission report Quality and Compassion. Themes included a strong affirmation of degree level nursing and extensive debate on the regulation of support workers. Lord Willis also argued for research to be placed 'right at the heart of training'.

In response, Earl Howe noted that the 'Government’s mind is open' on mandatory regulation of health and social care support workers, a relatively recent shift in position. He also affirmed the importance of research as part of a nursing degree. In the debate a suggestion was made that deans should sign off candidates after a period of preceptorship. Earl Howe responded that he would 'test the proposal' with the NMC and CoDH, and we will keep members updated on the form of that proposal. Read the full debate (column GC281) onwards.