James Forsyth

Simon Stevens could turn out to be Jeremy Hunt’s Mark Carney

Simon Stevens could turn out to be Jeremy Hunt's Mark Carney
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Remember the name Simon Stevens. He’s is the new chief executive of the NHS in England and is going to be absolutely crucial to whether the government can make its health reforms work.

Stevens is a former Labour special adviser. However, he comes from the reformist wing of the party. He used to advise Alan Milburn and Tony Blair on the NHS. But a profile in today’s Guardian reveals just how impressively radical Stevens is.

Denis Campbell writes that Stevens favours local pay in the NHS. He is also, Campbell says, keen on the idea of independent GPs competing with existing GP surgeries for patients, in the hope that this competition would drive up standards.

George Osborne’s decision to bring in Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of England is one of the most important, and best, decisions he has made as Chancellor. It looks like Hunt’s hiring of Stevens will be one of the most significant, and impressive, decisions he’ll take as Health Secretary.