Do we need nurse consultants in leadership roles to raise the profile of the nursing profession? They will have huge portfolios encompassing clinical and academic work, but what will they actually be doing?

Though motivating staff is part oftheir role, with such a huge portfolio what time will they have for nurses on the 'shop floor'?

With shortages of staff at the front line, why do we need nurse consultants? What will happen if there are no staff to lead? We need more frontline staff, not mini-medical consultants or consultants' handmaids.

Only when the government has addressed the real issues in nursing - poor staffing, low morale and low pay - will it have done justice to nurses, and as a consequence raise the profile of the nursing profession.

Obrey Alexis Lecturer practitioner The John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford Brookes University