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Strain on nurses is threat to care level.

Byline: DIANE ABBOTT Labour's Shadow Health Minister

THERE is something very tragic about someone dying in hospital simply because they did not get enough water.

The public assumes that when you go into hospital such basic needs will be met as a matter of course. Each and every one of these deaths is a shocking and avoidable tragedy.

I can only imagine the pain and upset that the families involved must feel, knowing that their loved ones passed away because they did not receive the care they deserved.

I do not doubt how dedicated the vast majority of our nurses are.

Since 2010, the Labour health team has met and spoken with NHS workers across the country, shadowing their work, walking in their shoes.

Of course, I did not need much convincing - my mother was a nurse. We know that, despite the horror stories, most people in nursing and social care do a wonderful job.

But there is a debate about whether the recent emphasis on nursing as a graduate profession has meant that the caring aspect has been valued enough.

We must make sure there is no question of any nurse being "too posh to wash".

For patients and their families, it is the basic nursing skills that matter more than the amount of exams a nurse has taken.

I fear that a "carequake" is approaching.

Nurses have a difficult job, and it's going to be made all the more difficult because so many nurses - almost 5,000 - are being axed by this government.

We've seen the strain that has been put on our health service and our nurses by the way this government is managing the NHS.

I hope that these figures can serve to remind us all that patient care must come first.

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STRESS Pressure is on nurses
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Title Annotation:News; Opinion, Columns
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2012
Words:303
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