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MP plans nursing standards campaign
A Labour MP who described how her late husband died "like a battery hen" because of bad nursing has said she intends to meet with campaigning organisations this week to see how she can help raise standards in "compassion and care".
Ann Clwyd earlier said her husband, who had multiple sclerosis, had been treated with arrogance and indifference in the final days before his death in October.
Questioning the Prime Minister in the Commons on Wednesday, she told David Cameron she remained firmly committed to a free at the point of use NHS - but said there were increasing complaints about nursing in some parts of the system.
Asked on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show if she would be starting a new campaign for more compassion in hospitals, Mrs Clwyd said: "Yes is the short answer. I've had hundreds and hundreds of emails from people from all over the country and the theme is the same.
"There are some good nurses, but there are also some very bad nurses and people have talked about their own experiences."
Quoting from some of the emails received, she told how one had said "the nursing profession is no longer the caring profession" while another added that "since they made nursing a degree course the wrong kind of people are entering the profession... we do not need a load of snooty-nosed pen pushers".
Evidence received on levels of care, she added, had expressed concern about declining standards, with claims that standards had been put at risk because of financial constraints, increased workloads and manpower shortages.
Mrs Clwyd said she intended to meet with some patient bodies and campaigning groups to see how the issues raised by them could be addressed.
Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said it was "absolutely essential" that individual cases were investigated.
Nurses, he said, were undertaking "back-breaking tasks", and he added: "I simply do not accept the case that nurses are not interested in the fundamentals of patient care."