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The politicians want your vote!


With general election campaigning entering its second week, Nursing Times asked the three main parties about their policies for nurses



Improvements in NHS waiting times and quality are expected to play a huge part in the Labour party’s pitch for a fourth term in power and a party spokesman said it recognised the “central role” nurses had already played in delivering these.

If the Labour Party won the next election, it would further modernise nursing careers and training – including continuing with plans to make it an all graduate entry profession –and make it easier for nurses to pursue clinical practice alongside academic research.

The party would also develop “new national standards for advanced and autonomous nursing roles”, and give nurses and midwives a more prominent role in shaping the future of the NHS.


Liberal Democrats

While the other two main parties say they will continue to give the NHS “real terms” spending increases, the Liberal Democrats say this is “irresponsible”.  A party spokesman said their pledge instead was to “protect frontline services by making the NHS work better with the money it has”.

But he said the party was aware that NHS staff were “sick of being told how money could be saved”. Instead, the party has been asking nurses and other staff for their own ideas.  Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will unveil these later this month.

The party is also pledging to give NHS staff a vote on whether their trust should become wholly owned by them.



In contrast, a Conservative Party spokesman said their pitch to nurses centred on “allowing them to do what they do best – nurse”. That would involve reducing the amount of paper work, “needless box ticking” and targets.

The party is also pledging to give nurses a greater say in running the NHS and has promised a “ward to board” approach, so the voice of nurses is heard by managers. It has also promised a guarantee that whistleblowers will not lose their jobs.

Shadow health minister Anne Milton, the party’s lead on nursing, has also argued that nurses should have more involvement in commissioning, particularly as part of GP practice-based commissioning teams.


Readers' comments (9)

  • Martin Gray

    What about the other minority parties policies on healthcare? It is not a 3 horse race, but being made so by the usual media representation i.e. only showing the 3 main parties colours and only reporting on their progress in the polls on both TV and radio.

    By only showing the policies of the 'big 3' you are not painting a true picture of what choice is there, and if the policies of the minority parties are better than those on offer.

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  • When it comes to equal opportunities, I am cincerned that where I work it is very cold in the winter and we have a below the elbow ploicy ( H & S)- however people of certain beliefs are according to the NHS nowallowed to cover their elbows. they will be warm and otheres will freeze. Where is the fairness. Equal opportunities why then are Christians not allowed to wear a crusifix, if not as a necklace as ear rings,

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  • There is no mention of improving staffing levels, working conditions, the provision of a congenial and collegial attitude on the wards and support from employers and from management or any mention of improving patient centred care which is what the nhs, the nursing profession and the needs of patients are all about!

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  • in addition to my above comments safety and security of patients and staff is key and should be of primary concern and there is no mention of this. Wards where patients are not receiving adequate nursing and medical care and staff are not being treated fairly and with respect should be investigated by the government and NMC and brought to the attention of employers who must have a legal duty to oversee the wellbeing of patients and their staff.

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  • The politicians want your vote!
    Where are their incentives?

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  • Why is it that any person from overseas get free medical treatment, our citizens have paid for years. Is this fair we have to wait for treatment? If we go abroad we would pay. Stop free care to none citizens and the NHS would have more money and the service would improve. Stop income support on on drunks etc. attending A & E, make parents stay with their drunk children. Make those on the dole work for their pay as in Ireland

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  • discriminatory comments above! Alcoholism is a serious illness which requires treatment like any others due to cerebral dysfunction or neurological changes. Why should these individuals be punished and excluded they and their families already suffer enough. I agree that they are not always the most attractive patients but new ways need to be sought to ensure their needs are being met and not just concentrate on serving our own needs as professionals, the government or fellow citizens.

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  • Martin Gray

    It is fair to point out that many foreigners comne to this country solely to get free medical treatment; it's a well-proven fact. And, unfortunately, the conditions they present with are very costly to treat such as HIV/AIDS, cancers, and I've not even mentioned childbirth so that their offspring are then classed as British and entitled to all the benefits that become available.

    Yes alcoholism is a recognised medical condition and there are plenty of services available that offer help and treatment; the problem lies with those that do not take advantage of these and prefer to continue with their alcohol intake. Many of them attend A&E frequently, and are both aggresive and abusive towards staff and other patients alike.

    Certainly we should not be expected to pay for the treatment of citizens whose country does not have a reciprocal agreement with our own. I'm not being discrimatory but therre has to be rules to protect our oiwn patient population in terms of funding available for THEIR needs.

    But which party has made any mention of this in their manifesto and plans for our NHS?

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  • Martin Gray

    I think I have either fat fingers or suffer from some type of dyslexia - always seem to have typos I've missed :o((

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