Nurses are to be rated according to the levels of care and empathy they give to patients under a new initiative to raise standards in the NHS.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson said he wants the performance of every nursing team in every ward across England to be scored, with the results displayed on an official website.
Talking to our Home Affairs correspondent Johnson said: "I recently spent two weeks in St Thomas's Hospital, London. I had what is medically termed 'Caput capitis stuck sursum rectum' . Apparently I have been suffering with it for sometime. The surgical team obviously played an important part in my care but I can honestly say that it was the attitudes of the young nursing staff that had the greatest impact on my recovery. There is no doubt that a smile and a flutter of the eyelids can have a remarkably therapeutic effect"
Nurses will be awarded points for displaying certain behaviours with bonuses being paid to high scoring staff. An example of how the points system might work is published below.
.For washing hands before approaching a patient.
2 points For winking or waving at a patient.
3 points For removing a catheter without using the leg as leverage
4 points.. For a manual evacuation delivered with a smile.
5 points For removing a bed pan without turning ones head in disgust.
6 points For a flash of a stocking top.
7 points For a surprize early morning bed bath.
8 points For an unnecessary testicular examination.
The proposal will be launched in Manchester today at the annual conference of the NHS Confederation. However the proposal is not without its critics.
Dave Carter, the general secretary of UNISON argues : "All this scoring system does is reestablishes the outdated view that nurses are objects of fantasy. I thought we had moved away from the idea that all nurses were hard drinking, big busted nymphomaniacs from Ireland. 4 out of 10 health workers are male now anyway. When a big hairy hand is half way up your jacksey would a smile and a wink really make things more pleasant ?"