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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Blair's spin is ruining the NHS, says Dr Peter Carter, the new head of the Royal College of Nursing.

Nurses' leader: Blair's spin ruining NHS - Sunday Telegraph


"The Prime Minister has allowed the NHS to plunge into crisis by becoming trapped in a "parallel universe of spin", according to the new head of the Royal College of Nursing.

In a blistering attack on the Government's running of the health service, Dr Peter Carter, the RCN general secretary, said cuts in jobs, services and training were catastrophic for the country and a "personal tragedy" for the Prime Minister."

"Millions were wasted on repeated changes to structures that had now almost reverted back to the position they were in 10 years ago, with money lavished on salaries, redundancies and creating offices.

Worse still, the replacement of 100 health authorities with more than 300 primary care trusts created more jobs than there were talented managers, leading to poor decision-making and a "frittering away of much of the Government's investment".

Government figures show 15,000 managers have been recruited since Labour came to power. Dr Carter, who ran an NHS mental health trust in London for 12 years, said he believed one manager in five was not up to the job, while about the same proportion of NHS organisations were not fit for purpose.

The number of nurses emigrating to find work had doubled to 8,000 since Labour came to power in 1997, and the number will continue to grow, he said.

The Government expects that Britain will be short of 14,000 nurses in three years' time, which will force the UK to poach replacements from some of the poorest parts of the world, Dr Carter said."