Tory pledge endorsed- Jowell predicts 'trolley'election - IT cash row- Consultants unhappy- GPs'ad -Tomlinson to head hospitals inquiry NHS chief executive Duncan Nichol's public endorsement of the Conservative Party's key message on the eve of its annual conference - that the NHS will not be privatised - has divided managers.

In an interview with the pro-Tory Daily Mail, Mr Nichol also attacked Labour policy.One senior manager commented: 'These may be his deeply held views, but expressing them at this time would discredit them because of the context.'

Tessa Jowell, Labour candidate for Dulwich, told her party conference that, having seen patients waiting on trolleys at King's College Hospital, she had thought, 'the next election is going to be won in the corridors and casualty ward of this hospital'.The conference heard denunciations of NHS managers for being obsessed with 'pricing and competition'.

Managers are diverting IT cash from the Department of Health into systems they believe are more important than those dictated by central guidance.An HSJ survey found managers were buying systems that attracted the biggest grants rather than those they needed.

Respondents registered their 'disappointment and cynicism'about the NHS's£200m a year investment in IT.

Two-thirds of hospital consultants complain that their job satisfaction is falling, says a British Medical Association survey.It accuses managers and politicians of failing to recognise that the NHS is underfunded, leading to 'disenchantment and cynicism'and a 'breakdown of trust'.

Nearly 3,000 GPs have put their names to an advertisement in national newspapers claiming that equal access to healthcare is no longer a basic principle of the NHS.

Health secretary William Waldegrave has announced an independent team, led by former Northern regional chair Professor Bernard Tomlinson, to report on the problems of London's hospitals.