comment

Scotland's government is not alone when it comes to allegations of politicising the NHS. In March, commissioner for public appointments Dame Rennie Fritchie had a good deal to say about the state of appointments in England. Now the government has made its response.

Ministers have agreed to stop involving MPs once a shortlist of candidates for non-executive positions has been drawn up, but either rejected other recommendations or postponed them with a view to dealing with them in the national plan. There, no doubt, they will receive little attention among headlines about the return of matron.

In particular, ministers have rejected the proposal for a review of the whole role and purpose of boards and new job descriptions for those who sit on them, insisting, despite Dame Rennie's report to the contrary, that all is 'satisfactory' on these fronts.

Dame Rennie has welcomed the removal of MPs from the process but said little about the rest of the response, which was slipped out as a written answer in the Lords.

This half-hearted approach hardly dampens the force of the original allegations, and is surely a missed opportunity to bring better governance to the NHS.