A recent visit to Richmond House’s fabled fourth floor corridor of power yielded some fascinating insights into the highest echelons of the Department of Health.
Norman Lamb’s office is adorned with traditional depictions of the Norfolk countryside, which Alan Partridge would no doubt approve of.
Anna Soubry’s office door carries a sign with little drawings of the sun in the corners. The notice says: “Come on in! The air conditioning is on!”
End Game admires how her open door policy applies even when the door is closed, and urges permanent secretary Una O’Brien to take note.
For Ms O’Brien’s office, at the far end of the corridor, has a “NO ENTRY” sign, with helpful pictures to illustrate how this applies to both men and women.
Opposite Ms O’Brien’s office is a large room with tables and chairs, which has apparently been sealed since 1 April. One the wall, amongst massive pictures of the NHS being tear-jerkingly inspiring, is a map of primary care trust clusters. No Nottingham Forest memorabilia is to be found, but by the door is a plaque announcing that this is the office of David Nicholson, NHS chief executive.
End Game found the DH’s struggle to accept his departure to NHS England rather poignant.