Nurses plead for 'paradigm shift'
A "paradigm shift" is needed to improve failing hospitals, the nurses' union leader has said.
Peter Carter from the Royal College of Nursing believes a number of inner-city hospitals are "a drain on the system", and changes need to be made.
The Times reported the head of the union that represents 400,000 nurses made the comments during a private meeting of the think-tank Reform earlier this week.
According to the newspaper, Dr Carter said: "In our metropolitan areas we have far too many acute hospitals. That's a drain on the system and it has got to change."
He said politicians need to be bold enough to make widespread reforms to the NHS, and that hospitals have to change and adapt to suit modern needs.
"People are going to have to be brave to make these decisions," he said. "Some of those hospitals that we have known and loved, and which were performing appropriately in their day, are no longer appropriate."
Dr Carter added: "People have tinkered around the edges and not made the paradigm shift that's required."
His comments came in a week in which politicians in charge of the NHS have been under the spotlight. On Tuesday the Government unveiled big changes to its controversial reform plans for the NHS after accepting the key recommendations of a panel of health experts.
Following an unprecedented "pause" in legislation prompted by unease among health professionals and Liberal Democrat MPs, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's proposals to extend competition in health provision have been significantly scaled back.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We have listened, we have learned and we are improving our plans."