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Voice of The Mirror: Only more nurses can cure NHS.

TONY BLAIR has got the message loud and clear. The health service will not improve without more nurses.

In his interview with The Mirror yesterday the Prime Minister made it plain that nurses are the key to his NHS plans.

Simply moving around the ones working in hospitals at the moment would be like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

There are not enough nurses and more are leaving all the time.

Already this Government has made moves to recruit more. But yesterday Mr Blair went further.

There will be a huge campaign to bring in newcomers and attract back many of those who have left.

This is great news and shows that this Government is determined to do what is necessary to protect the health service.

But it must never forget that it will not attract or keep good nurses unless their pay and conditions are improved.

That means flexible working for those who have families to bring up, creches and suitable hours.

They must be treated with the respect at work that they enjoy from the public. And naturally the pay of all of them must be improved.

That would just be the start. The number of doctors and their working conditions need to be improved, too.

But nurses are the foundation stone on which all else depends.

Tony Blair has shown he realises that and is passionately committed to making the NHS the service we want and need.
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Title Annotation:Leader
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 23, 1999
Words:241
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