'NHS nurses need time and resources to care'
6 January 2012 Last updated at 07:07 GMT
Nurses will be told to do regular ward rounds and patients encouraged to carry out inspections as part of a drive to improve hospital standards in England.
They will form part of a package of measures announced by Prime Minister David Cameron to tackle what he sees as a "real problem" with patient care.
Howard Catton, from the Royal College of Nursing, said that nurses would welcome the opportunity to make care their priority, but needed "time and resources" to do this.
Speaking to the BBC, he also warned that too many posts had been cut in some areas and that adequate staffing levels were critical in order to ensure the welfare of patients.