He has a large family, a big house, and was used to earning pounds80,000 a year. Even if he worked every day and night in his new job he would only rake in pounds17,000 a year. So how does recently ennobled ex-Confed chief executive Lord Hunt of Monitor do it? It seems he has quickly racked up a sizeable portfolio of consultancy contracts. He is to chair an Institute for Public Policy Research forum looking at the future of the NHS, and is a policy adviser at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. The NHS Executive has given him some work advising on the 50th anniversary celebrations, and he has gone the way of all ex-NHS senior management flesh by lending his talents to Birmingham University's health services management centre, Manchester University's health service management unit, and possibly the King's Fund. Any more and Monitor will rename him Lord Hunt of Consultancy.
The Daily Telegraph's coverage of the alleged 'politicisation' of NHS appointments through the awarding of trust and health authority board posts to Labour councillors made entertaining reading. An editorial last week told readers: 'There may be something distasteful, even Latin American, about a new government purging the supporters of the previous regime; yet it is a fact of life that politicians prefer to promote people whom they know and trust. The trouble is that, whereas the Tories tended to know and trust businessmen, Labour's contacts are overwhelmingly in the public sector.' It claimed Tory appointees were mainly non-political figures who happened to vote Conservative and concluded: '...the Tories never did anything so overtly partisan.' What, then, of the likes of former HA and trust chairs Roy Lilley, John Spiers and John Greetham - business tycoons, yes, and all at one time Conservative councillors? And let's not forget Sir Donald Wilson, described by a fellow chair as 'as true blue as they came', Bill Fyfe in Scotland and the Hon Lindy Price CBE (daughter of former Tory minister Lord Brecon) in Wales to name but a few.
At last the satirical talents of the Department of Health's very own Romola Christophersen have been recognised with an award in the prime minister's New Year honours. The DoH's press and publicity director was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath, Monitor assumes, for her leading role over many years in the entertainment troupe Deskforce, whose political sketches have delighted civil servants in Quarry House and beyond.
Speaking of stars of stage and screen, has anyone noticed the uncanny resemblance between comic actor Peter Sellers and Brian Goodinson, communications manager at Northwick Park and St Mark's trust in Harrow?