Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been mocked after saying that some nurses still have to stand up when doctors enter the room in some NHS organisations.
In a speech to the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s summit in Birmingham on Thursday, Mr Hancock praised the hard work and dedication of nurses and said they “often make better leaders than doctors”.
But he said that in some “antiquated, archaic corners of the NHS” nurses still stand up for doctors and he called for the practice to stop.
The comment prompted one NHS doctor to respond saying that hospitals weren’t Downton Abbey.
Mr Hancock said it was a throwback to the days when his grandmother, Pem Hills, was a nurse at the Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire.
He said: “Great leaders know the importance of making everyone feel valued, making everyone feel part of the same team, with the same mission.
“And I’ve found that nurses are some of the best leaders within the NHS.
“Nurses often make better leaders than doctors because you understand that caring for your staff is mission-critical for caring for your patients.
“You know hierarchy can be a hindrance to improvement.
“I find it shocking that, in my grandmother’s day, nurses were expected to stand up when a doctor entered the room.