Letter: Frustration and hypocrisy in the NHS

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YOUR LEADING article (31 January) was spot on. Morale is low among nurses - and, indeed, doctors and others in the caring professions - for two main reasons.

The first is that they are not "valued". Their opinions and advice are ignored by management; and they are abused by patients. This is not helped by the popular press which exaggerates any error and castigates the (perceived) culprit when the real cause may lie in "the system".

The second, and more important, reason is a sense of frustration. All professionals are trained to try to attain perfection. Of course, this cannot always be achieved; but when they are constantly being asked to do more with less (staff and resources), they know they are delivering a service that falls short not only of their aspirations, but of what the patient is entitled to expect. This frustration is fuelled by the hypocrisy of management's call for "quality" while instigating cuts.