Changes to the NHS announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt do not go far enough, said a leading campaigner for changes in the NHS whose mother died at Stafford Hospital.
The Government's response to the public inquiry into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, included a measure that aspiring nurses would have to work for up to a year as a healthcare assistant or support worker before they can apply to become a nurse.
But Julie Bailey, who set up the Cure The NHS group after her mother Bella died at the hospital in 2007, said the leadership and the “command and control type management” of the organisation had to change.
She told the BBC: “I really don’t feel the changes go far enough... This was a failing from ward to Whitehall, we lost hundreds of people here.
“I sat through every day of that public inquiry, all the bodies failed, all the bodies had to apologise, and I really don’t think that’s been addressed in this statement.”
She said various reviews were going on, which was welcome, but she added: “How many more reviews do we need to tell us the one thing that needs to change is the culture?
"That needs to change, the very top, the people that rule the NHS, the leadership, that’s what needs to change, and it works all the way down to the front line.
“We need safe staffing levels and the correct skill mix, that’s the start that’s needed, then we need to look at the training.”
Asked about proposals to make student nurses spend more time on the wards, she said: “I’m not saying that it won’t help... I think there needs to be far more emphasis on who they select to go into nursing.”
As to the leadership of the NHS, she said: “These policies came from the top, and they worked all the way down to the ward. We don’t need this command and control type management.
"We need a new leader at the top of the NHS, we need a leader that galvanises and inspires the workforce. We’ve got staff who don’t want to work for the NHS, we’ve got patients frightened, older people frightened to go into NHS hospitals.
“This has got to change, and it’s not going to change with this style leadership, command and control, we need much more emphasis on the culture and behaviours of the people within the NHS, and that starts at the top.”
Subject to pilot schemes, students seeking NHS funding for nursing degrees will become healthcare assistants or support workers as part of their education or as a pre-requisite for receiving funding for their degree.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) questioned how the scheme would work.
"We have a number of urgent questions about the suggestion that all student nurses should first spend a year working as a healthcare support worker," said Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN.
"Who will train, employ and monitor tens of thousands of these support workers? How can the Government deliver this radical change to nurse training on a cost neutral basis? And how will we ensure that the supply of nurses does not become restricted?
"We are committed to working closely with Government and key partners on clarifying these concerns and ensuring that the pilots are fully evaluated and the results are acted upon.
"However, let's be clear, last year's independent Willis Commission found no evidence that nursing education is failing, nor that it is associated with a decline in compassion."
Health Education England said it is to run a pilot scheme to see how the programme would work.
Chief executive Professor Ian Cumming said: "In the future, by asking prospective students across a range of courses ... to undertake up to a year of real work as a healthcare assistant, we can start to ensure that the NHS recruits not just for skills and academic ability but also for values and behaviours that can be tested in a real healthcare environment before the NHS spends tens of thousands of pounds on their education."
Katherine Fenton, director of nursing at University College London Hospital, said: "I fully support this proposal and believe it will provide invaluable insight for students as they embark on their healthcare career.
"Engaging with patients at the very start of their career will help students underpin their training with a first-hand understanding of patient needs."