Published: 24/03/2005, Volume II5, No. 5947 Page 20

We asked the HSJ100 reader panel: if you could include one item in the government's health manifesto, what would it be?

And Tony Blair says the NHS is doing better than five years ago: what single area of its operation would you cite to prove (or disprove) his claim?

Steve Gulati, director of human resources and organisational development, Leicester City West Teaching primary care trust

The most significant improvement has to be the fruition of the capital development programme.

To see modern facilities being built around us is a heartening symbol of the government's commitment to a modern NHS.

Hilda Harvey, chair, Bury PCT

I suggest a commitment to stop manager-bashing and to view the NHS as an integrated team of people who all play a crucial part in service delivery. The major improvement has to be the reduction in waiting times/lists.

Jane Brown, senior clinical governance facilitator, Alexandra Hospital

I would like to see contractors banished from hospitals, and more responsibility at ward level to ensure hospitals are cleaner.

There is such a shortage of staff within the NHS, agency costs have spiralled, and the most obvious 'wish' would be to pay nurses and NHS staff what they are worth.

Staffing will get worse, and no matter which party is successful in the election this has to be tackled.

Euan McPherson, patient advice and liaison services and involving people manager, Herefordshire PCT

Further commitment to self-management for people with long-term conditions. Only by helping people to stay well can we help ensure that pressure on acute and primary care services will remain manageable.