Every hospital patient will have a named doctor and nurse who is responsible for championing their care, under plans to be announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday.
Writing in The Daily Mail, Mr Hunt said the move would stop patients being “passed from pillar to post” and ensure that the “buck stops with someone” in relation to each person’s care.
The names of the doctor and nurse will be displayed above each hospital bed.
“Doctors and nurses enter healthcare out of a passion for helping people. For most, the personal interaction with patients and the thrill of helping make people better is what brings real job satisfaction,” Mr Hunt said.
“For patients too, a human touch can make all the difference. A name you know and a face you trust to guide you throughout your stay can transform your experience.
“That’s why we are committing to put the names of a responsible nurse and responsible doctor above every hospital bed.”
He said a handful of leading hospitals already did this and the Government planned to ask all hospitals to do the same as it made a real difference to the care of patients.
“They don’t worry about being passed from pillar to post between different departments on different days of the week, because they have one face and one name who champions their needs as long as they’re in hospital,” Mr Hunt said.
“This is key part of the wider change I’m trying to introduce in the NHS: insisting the buck stops with someone for every patient in every part of the NHS for every hour of the day.”
Peter Carter, of the Royal College of Nurses, told the Mail that the move recognised nurses were at the heart of patient care.
But he added that for the system to work it would have to be "carefully implemented and supported by the right staffing levels".