Manager bashing has made its first appearance of the general election campaign, with a Conservative Party leaflet attacking Labour over 'interfering'NHS managers.

The leaflet declares: 'Nurses will be nurses with the Conservatives, ' and features a disgruntled looking nurse with a pile of patient files. It accuses Labour of giving the public 'an increase in the number of interfering managers in hospitals'.

NHS Confederation policy director Nigel Edwards sighed:

'This is the type of thing managers have learned to expect at election time. It is disappointing and misunderstands how health services really work. '

He hoped the leaflet would not 'be the start of a bidding war between the parties' about who could cut the most bureaucracy, with issues that needed careful consideration - such as the future of health authorities - being 'dragged in'.