Headlines: April 16th, 2002

The Government says it has reached its target of employing nearly 2,000 modern matrons in the NHS.It comes just one year after their reintroduction to the health service, even though the target set to achieve this figure was 2004.

After an absence of 30 years the Government brought back matrons to help put power back into the hands of frontline staff following strong public support for the idea.

Matrons are in charge of a group of wards and wear distinctive uniforms to ensure they are visible to patients and their families. As strong clinical leaders it is their job to drive up standards of care, with responsibilities to include ensuring wards are clean and that patients are properly fed.

The Government says that matrons not only provide patients with clear figurehead in charge of day to day ward standards, but also have the authority to put things right when they go wrong.

New pay structures are being introduced for modern matrons which mean that they can earn up to thirty seven thousand pounds a year.