The NMC website and our Overseas Portal will be unavailable from 07:15am - 10:00am on Saturday 16 January while we carry out essential maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Please visit for information about temporary registration and changes to how we’re operating during this time.


Shape of Caring review publishes final recommendations

12 March 2015

The Shape of Caring Review report, commissioned by Health Education England in partnership with the Nursing and Midwifery Council is being published today. 

Lord Willis, Chair of the review, makes recommendations for the future education and training of nurses and care assistants.

Raising the Bar, the final report from the Shape of Caring review, details 34 recommendations for the future of education and training for registered nurses and care assistants. 

Lord Willis, the independent Chair of the review, said: 

“There are 1.3 million care assistants and half a million registered nurses in England: it is vital to invest in this essential workforce.

“In the future, patients and the public will have more complex clinical needs and higher expectations than ever before. The education and training of nurses and care assistants need to reflect the changing care environment, and equip them to deliver high quality care. 

“Today’s report makes recommendations for changes in education and training which will help to meet our future needs. I hope that it will be seen as a framework to shape the debate on how we can develop a world class caring workforce. 

“During the course of this review, I have met with individuals and organisations who are already helping to raise the bar. If their innovations are replicated, they could make a profound difference to the training and education of nurses and care assistants, and consequently, to the quality of care that is provided to patients and the public.”

Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing at HEE said: 

“I am very grateful to Lord Willis for the work he has put into this review which is timely following the recent publication of NHS Five Year Forward View and its vision for a more community and prevention-focused workforce. It rightly highlights some of the best practices on the frontline but also shines a light on the variations in education and training that staff receive. 

“HEE is already engaged in key areas of work which are relevant to the review including the development of a Care Certificate; pre-degree care experience and development of higher apprenticeship routes into pre-registration nursing. 

“I’d like to extend my thanks to colleagues at the Nursing and Midwifery Council for their input into the review. Their drive to improve the quality of the workforce, as well as maintain standards, should provide us with a real opportunity to move forward from these recommendations at pace.” 

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said:

“We very much welcome the Shape of Caring report, which makes some significant recommendations about the quality of education for nurses in years to come. It is vital that we work with others across the UK to continue to increase our understanding of nurse education and patient needs. 

“We are currently looking at our standards for nurse education. We are engaging in a range of events to understand how we can improve public protection through the standards we set. The Shape of Caring review is vital in this respect.”



Notes for editors

For further information please contact Richard Green, Head of External Communications at HEE on 07557 204428.

1.   The report was commissioned by Health Education England in partnership with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

2.   The Sponsoring Board was co-chaired by Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, Director of Nursing, Health Education England; and Jackie Smith, Chief Executive and Registrar, Nursing and Midwifery Council.

3.   Lord Willis of Knaresborough is a Lib Dem Peer, former Shadow Minister for Education and author of the recent report “Quality with compassion: the future of nursing education”. His principle interests are in science policy and medical research where he is currently Chair of the Association of Medical Research Charities. He is an active member of the House of Lords.

4.   HEE was established on 28 June 2012, working as a shadow Special Health Authority from 1 October 2012. It took on its full operational responsibilities from 1 April 2013 and has five national functions:

  • providing national leadership on planning and developing the healthcare and public health workforce
  • promoting high quality education and training that is responsive to the changing needs of patients and local communities, including responsibility for ensuring the effective delivery of important national functions such as medical trainee recruitment
  • ensuring security of supply of the health and public health workforce
  • appointing and supporting the development of LETBs
  • allocating and accounting for NHS education and training resources and the outcomes achieved

For more information on HEE visit

5.   The Nursing and Midwifery Council exists to protect the public. It does this by ensuring that only those who meet its requirements are allowed to practise as a nurse or midwife in the UK. It takes action if concerns are raised about whether a nurse or midwife is fit to practise.

For more information on the NMC visit or follow on Twitter - @nmcnews.