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NHS managers 'deserve respect'

Health leaders have hit out at politicians for "scapegoating" NHS managers in the run-up to the general election.

A number of prominent clinicians and two former health secretaries have added their names to a letter which demands more respect for NHS managers.

It urges politicians not to resort to needless criticism of health managers as the campaign to win next year's general election heats up.

The letter, published in today's edition of the Times, states that "NHS managers are as dedicated to the service as any other group of staff" and says that the signatories find it "regrettable" that managers are so often "made scapegoats when concerns arise".

The letter adds: "It is especially worrying that ill-informed allegations and the use of lazy stereotypes tend to peak at a time of increased public interest in the NHS" such as the run-up to a general election.

And it warns politicians: "There is no justification for singling out managers."

The letter is signed by the chairman of the British Medical Association and the heads of the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Former health secretaries Conservative Stephen Dorrell MP and Labour's Alan Milburn have added their names to the letter, as has the country's most respected HIV and Aids campaigner Sir Nick Partridge.

The letter has been organised by Health Service Journal, a magazine for healthcare leaders, and the Managers in Partnership union, which represents NHS managers.

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