Number 10 Downing Street is establishing its own panel of senior health policy experts – including two former NHS chief executives – to advise the prime minister on NHS reform, Nursing Times’ sister publication HSJ has learned.
David Cameron’s office has organised the first meeting of the group tomorrow morning to discuss health service reform, senior sources said. It is believed the focus will be on NHS reform in general, rather than pushing through health secretary Andrew Lansley’s proposals specifically.
Those invited include Lord Crisp, NHS chief executive and Department of Health permanent secretary from 2000 to 2006, and Sir Ian Carruthers, who was NHS chief executive during 2006 and is now NHS South West chief executive.
HSJ understands they also include former Monitor executive chairman Bill Moyes and former NHS director general of commissioning and system management Mark Britnell, now KPMG’s global head of health.
Others involved include University College London Hospitals Foundation Trust chief executive Sir Robert Naylor, NHS Confederation interim chief executive Nigel Edwards, Nuffield Trust chief executive Jennifer Dixon and David Kerr, professor of cancer medicine at Oxford University.
Sources said it was likely to be an ongoing panel for Number 10 to discuss health policy and reform. It has been organised by Paul Bate, the former adviser to Tony Blair who was appointed by David Cameron in March 2011. One source described it as a “kitchen cabinet” which would continue providing advice.
A senior source said the group was not being established to discuss Mr Lansley’s proposals but instead to “try out” other ideas. A source said: “He [Paul Bate] wants to get heads together to reflect ideas off.”
The panel is not part of the NHS Future Forum “listening exercise” which has been asked to suggest “improvements” to Mr Lansley’s Health Bill.