Standards have been allowed to fall far too far in our hospitals. Our doctors and nurses do an incredible job under extremely difficult circumstances, but many problems stem from a culture of distant management and bureaucratisation.
One way to reverse these trends is to reinstate matrons with all of their old responsibilities. This way experienced nursing staff, rather than faceless bureaucrats sitting behind a desk, will have ultimate authority over patient care and to maintain standards within our hospitals.
"Modern matrons" were recently introduced in response to poor levels of cleanliness and care, however they are limited to individual departments and their role is chiefly administrative. A full restoration of all the old powers and responsibilities which matrons used to have would go much further in improving healthcare in the NHS, and in challenging the trend towards a culture of bureuacracy, pen-pushing and costly, unecessary tiers of management.