Wes Streeting has had years to work out what’s wrong with the NHS, but now he’s in office he apaprently needs consultants to tell him what he should already know

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As the Guardian has reported this morning:

An independent investigation will be held into the performance of the NHS, the health secretary has announced.

Writing in the Sun, Wes Streeting said the investigation would be aimed at “diagnosing the problem” so the government can “write the prescription”.

Streeting said: “It's clear to anyone who works in or uses the NHS that it is broken. Unlike the last government, we are not looking for excuses. I am certainly not going to blame NHS staff, who bust a gut for their patients.

“This government is going to be honest about the challenges facing us, and serious about solving them.”

To make clear how serious he was the report noted:

Streeting said the investigation would be led by the former health minister Lord Ara Darzi, who he has asked to “tell hard truths”.

Darzi has a history of advising Labour governments to do things in the NHS that do not work and simply divert resources from where they are needed, often duplicating services and creating confusion in the process. This is bound to work well then.

But let me make three further observations.

First, why wasn't this done by Labout before getting into office?

Second, is funding within the remit? If not, what is the point of doing anything?

Third, how long will all this take? Is the aim to delay action until Reeves has delivered growth? In that case, Darzi had better take his time.

Candidly, this looks utterly ill thought out and the clearest indication of a lack of preparedness for office. Streeting has had years to work out what he wants from the NHS, and now he has the chance to do something he is choosing inaction by sending everything out to a tame consultant, who just happens to be a Labour friendly peer. To describe this as pathetic is to be overly kind to Streeting.

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