Nurses will have more say in how the NHS should be run under a Liberal Democrat government, according to party leader Nick Clegg.
Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Congress in Bournemouth on Tuesday, Mr Clegg will say that ideas and skills of frontline health workers are vital to protect the health service from political budget cuts.
Instead, he will say politicians should seek advice from nurses about how to improve the service and "change the way power flows"
Mr Clegg will tell nurses: "It is right to celebrate nursing and the NHS as a whole, but it doesn't deal with the central issue I know worries every one of you.
"The real question that politicians now have to answer is not 'how much do you love the NHS?' It's 'how do you protect and improve the NHS at a time like this?'
"We need to change the way power flows in the NHS. You should be telling us how to run it, not the other way around.
"It is only the skills, innovation and ideas of the nursing staff of our health service that can protect it from the cuts you fear."
Copyright © Press Association 2010
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"I have been nursing for over 40 years and I have never known it so bad. Far too many incompetent managers - far too top heavy!" - Jacqueline Habgood-Painter, Dorset
"Lib-Dems will probably get my vote, but I am struggling with UKIP!!!!" - Anne Francis, Chelmsford, Essex
"I have been a Labour supporter since being able to vote but feel with the way the NHS is shaping up under a Labour government I feel it's time for a change. Mr Clegg certainly has my vote as seems to have the concerns of the nurses firmly in his sight lets hope this isn't just a smoke screen and he sticks by his convictions" - Emma, Leicester
"Asking the people on the frontline about quality improvements is a must and the people at the top need to take heed of what the workers say, as they are the ones delivering care and should take the lead in taking the NHS forward to a more efficient and cost effective service" - Karen Brewerton, Coventry
"He gets my vote, we have had enough of the mouth and no action. There are too much theory that does not work in practice. Time for change" - Charmaine, West Midlands
"In theory great idea but nursing staff need protected time away from wards, patient care to be actively involved. All too often it is those most dedicated that contribute in their own time. Nursing does count we just need more time!" - Dee, London
"He gets my vote. He may not be such a 'polished and rehearsed' speaker as the others, but I think we all know people who say all the right things, but their actions or practice don't match" - Wendy, London
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