The Conservatives will not win elections by continuing to vilify managers, the man drawing up the party's health policy said last week.

The Conservatives will not win elections by continuing to vilify managers, the man drawing up the party's health policy said last week.

Speaking at a fringe event 'in praise of public service managers' at the party's conference in Bournemouth, Stephen Dorrell, co-chair of its public service improvement policy group, said the next government would be remembered for its success in delivering public services.

'We are not going to do it by running a campaign against those who are responsible for delivering the services on which the success of that government will hang,' said the former health secretary.

His comments are in contrast to the tactics of the last election, when the leadership campaigned against 'faceless bureaucrats'.

He said a Tory government would set targets that were based on outcomes not inputs, and that managers would be engaged in the definition of the indicators.

'We have got to create structures to allow managers to deliver outcomes that they themselves have been part of the definition process and which they buy into,' he told delegates.

'If you deliver that policy you will get more local flexibility and much more respect for managerial staff in the service, and a much more consistent patient experience.'

He promised there would be no more radical restructuring, saying the public sector needed less 'political pyrotechnics'.

Mr Dorrell said his health policies would be 'needs-driven and means-blind' and would be based on what was popular with the electorate, not whether it was in 'some sacred Conservative text'.

'It doesn't have to appear in previous Conservative lexicons to pass the test in my view of the world,' he said. 'We have often used the language of burdens when talking about the public services. We should embrace the concept that a richer society is going to want to spend more resources on public services.'