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New Labour, new matrons

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 14 April 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:936
  1. Judy Jones, freelance journalist

    At last, the government has revealed its secret plan to transform the NHS, make hospital wards sparkle, and ensure everyone eats up their greens, like it or not. After an absence of more than 30 years, matron is restarching her white hat ready to make a comeback.

    Having regularly blamed almost every ill that has since afflicted the NHS on her disappearance, the media's response to the news was predictably suffused with triumphant excitement. “Back after 30 years to end the shame of shoddy care and dirty wards,” exclaimed the Daily Mail. “Matron back on patrol—and she may be a man,” the Times informed its readers. According to the Daily Telegraph, matron was being resurrected to “rule NHS wards.” …

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