Tory’s cannot cope with appointing Independents

NHS EnglandIn 2010 after the Conservative dominated coalition was elected they brought forward the plans that they had developed whilst in opposition. When located at some distance from the power holding which they have now ‘enjoyed’ since 2010 they are clearly capable of coming up with ideas that are far less tribal than once power is in their hands. They initially spoke about the need for Police and Crime Commissioners to be candidates who were disconnected from political parties before they changed their minds at the end of 2011 and then rushed to come up with candidates they considered to be suitable. The same is true in the case of NHS England which in October 2011 was established under the name NHS Commissioning Board and the Government appointed Malcolm Grant as the Chair of this body. There is no indications that Malcolm is a member of any political party and so his appointment made a great deal of sense as the political decision making regarding the NHS should happen in Parliament and the operational matters should be dealt with by people outside of the political scene. This is an interesting parallel situation compared to the way in which police forces work. Chief Constables are responsible for Operational matters and they like every other police officer are obliged to not publicly state any party political support. Malcolm Grant is now due to retire from the role as chair of the national NHS structure and in November his successor will be instated. However just as the party lost their confidence in Independent candidates as Police and Crime and Commissioners, they have now done the same in the case of NHS England and so the successor to Malcolm is David Prior who is the son of James Prior and who was MP for North Norfolk from 1997 – 2001 and appointed as Chief Executive of the Conservative Party during his short career as an elected member of Parliament. He was also deputy chairman and a member of the trade and industry select committee. For over a decade he continued to carry out roles such as chairing Academy Trusts and the CQC. In 2015 David Cameron made him a life Peer. There is no doubt he is well qualified to carry out the role of Chair of NHS England, just as there is no doubt that his appointment is deeply political and a poor decision for Matt Hancock to make, in terms of what will serve the nation well, particularly on the 70th anniversary of the NHS. In terms of what will serve the Tories well, then no doubt David will do them a good job! What we need is someone who will stand up to the Government, not someone who is passive and submissive.


About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Health Reform, Parliament and Democracy, Police & Crime Commissioner, Policing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Tory’s cannot cope with appointing Independents

  1. Peter Freeman says:

    Ian, it’s worse than you say. David Prior was a Government Minister for two years after 2015, most of the time in the Department of Health. He still takes the Conservative whip in the House of Lords. And this follows a previous Conservative peer appointed to chair NHS Improvement Services, also an allegedly independent body. Let’s hope the Select Committee makes a fuss when they interview him.

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