Cameron plan brings criticism from nurses

Conservative leader David Cameron has been criticised for claiming his plan to free GPs from Whitehall-imposed targets would empower nurses.

David Cameron
David Cameron

The leader of the opposition attended a conference on the future of nursing, held in London last month and promised that nurses would be able to spend more time with patients and enhance their roles under a Conservative government.

He said the government would free clinicians from targets and the DoH would be transformed into a 'Department of Public Health', focusing on prevention.

The plans would also give GPs full responsibility for health budgets and allow them to decide where their patients were treated.

When asked why his policy only referred to incentives for GPs to take on budgets, Mr Cameron said he felt that empowering GPs would also empower nurses.

However, Professor Dame Jill Macleod Clark, chair of the council of deans for nursing, told the conference that his remarks showed a 'societal belief that only doctors can lead'.

'Giving more power to GPs will do the opposite of empowering nurses', she said.

Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley later admitted that the Conservatives had more work to do on 'getting the language' right in setting out their vision for empowering clinicians.

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