NURSES still have to stand when a doctor enters the room at some hospitals, Matt Hancock claims.
The Health Secretary called for the “antiquated” practice to end, adding: “If anything, it should be the doctors standing up for nurses.”
But his comments sparked a backlash with GP Elisabeth Flett saying: “Very much doubt the nurses are sitting down anyway.
Mr Hancock was speaking at the Chief Nursing Officer for England’s summit in Birmingham.
He praised nurses’ dedication and said they “often make better leaders than doctors”.
He added: “Great leaders know the importance of making everyone feel valued, making everyone feel part of the same team, with the same mission.”
Officials said Mr Hancock had witnessed nurses standing for doctors, but did not specify when. One former nurse backed the claim, saying she had done it “out of courtesy”.
The Royal College of Nursing said the 40,000 vacant posts was a bigger issue.