The prime minister has promised the government's priority for 2008 will be to support NHS staff in tackling infection and improving access to services.

In his New Year's message, Gordon Brown thanked staff for their achievements.

He said: 'I intend for this to be the year in which we demonstrate beyond a doubt that the NHS is as vital for our next 60 years as it was for our last - more relevant to our future and the challenges that we face than ever before.'

To read the prime minister's New Year's message to the NHS, click here