Richard Marsh

Jeremy Hunt’s promising path as Health Secretary

When Jeremy Hunt became Health Secretary last September, the Google Alert I set up against his name would spew forth a regular stream of contemptuous comment on the new appointment. Invariably accompanied by an unflattering photo – quite often that one (above) where Hunt arrives in Downing Street looking less ready for a Cabinet meeting

Circle’s tough mission for Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Her Majesty’s Comptroller and Auditor General seems to have been nicking ideas from Private Eye. National Audit Office reports these days arrive with a frontispiece of ‘key facts’, reminiscent of the Eye’s ‘number crunching’ feature, plucking a handful of noteworthy numerals from the deluge of auditry that follows, and designed presumably to make the reader

Labour start attacking the NHS reforms – but did they need to?

So, the Labour Party has finally woken up to the idea that there might be some mileage in opposing the Government’s health reforms. Throughout much of this year a predictable alliance of the perennially opposed – doctors, health unions, Liberal Democrats, among others – has maintained a barrage of malice and misinformation against the Health

The EU commissioner who resigned on the grounds he was innocent

I don’t suppose too many Coffee House readers will have noticed, but the EU is currently without a dedicated health commissioner. This is because the holder of that important office, a nondescript former Maltese politician called John Dalli, resigned last week in connection with an alleged lobbying scandal. So, until they can find another nondescript Maltese politican

The PFI bailout machine has run out of juice

Although it is nearly 20 years ago, I can still recall being lobbied by the representatives of a private consortium who had nascent plans to redevelop a hospital in south London using the then fabulous new idea we called the private finance initiative.  Before you jump to too many delirious conclusions, the meeting took place

More evidence of the need for NHS reform

If you want to know why the great Labour-NHS argument about healthcare is wrong, read today’s National Audit Office report on the provision of diabetes care in England. Diabetes is one of this country’s biggest health problems and it is getting worse. There are currently over three million people with diabetes here today, and, on

Lansley has won, in a way

At two thirty this afternoon, the Deputy Speaker announced to the House of Commons that the Queen had granted Royal Assent to the Health and Social Care Act. It seemed fitting that the House was debating assisted suicide at the time. The agonies of watching this cursed legislation twitch and stumble its way onto the

So much for taking the politics out of the NHS

So here we are again. At least Lord Justice Leveson had the humanity to give us a couple of weeks off whining celebrities, shifty ex-journalists and declaiming newspaper editors. From the Health and Social Care Bill there is no respite. The Bill is back in the House of Lords and Liberal Democrat guerrillas are wound

No-one emerges from the health reform smash-up with any credit

Andrew Lansley should be grateful for small mercies. Rachel Sylvester’s column (£) today may quote a Downing Street source to the effect that ‘Lansley should be taken out and shot’, but there is yet no sign that a hundred Conservative MPs will write to the Prime Minister to say that the Health Secretary’s reforms have