Three candidates with experience of NHS management feature in a top 10 list of potential MPs to watch in health after the election.
- Former NHS and health charity managers standing in general election
- Health background “may translate into greater political engagement”, says analyst
- Mike O’Brien, former health minister, will try to win back seat for Labour
Hanover, a public affairs firm, has profiled 10 prospective parliamentary candidates standing for election in “winnable” seats with a background or particular interest in health.
The list also includes a former health minister, a health and wellbeing board member and a health charity lobbyist.
Karin Smyth is running for Labour in Bristol South, where the party has a majority of nearly 10 per cent.
Ms Smyth is the operations manager at Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group and has worked in the NHS for over 15 years, including as a non-executive director for Bristol North Primary Care Trust.
Tim Brett, who is looking to succeed Menzies Campbell as the Liberal Democrat MP for Fife North East, has held senior management positions in the NHS in Scotland, including as chief executive of Ninewells Teaching Hospital. He is also a former director of Health Protection Scotland and former NHS Fife board member.
Lucy Allan, the Conservative candidate for Telford, is a former non-executive director of Wandsworth Primary Care Trust and previously deputy chairman of health at Wandsworth Borough Council.
Former Labour health minister Mike O’Brien is trying to win back North Warwickshire, where the Conservatives have a majority of 0.1 per cent.
Mr O’Brien held the seat between 1992 and 2010, and oversaw the initial integrated care pilots.
Julie Cooper, who is standing for Labour in Burnley, is a member of the Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Board and chair of the East Lancashire Health and Wellbeing Partnership.
Nusrat Ghani is a former policy manager for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Age Concern and the Conservative candidate for Wealden, where the party has a majority of 31 per cent.
Andrew Harrison, Hanover’s director of global healthcare, said: “With the NHS a key battleground issue, many candidates have referenced health as a priority, particularly on a local level, but some have a deeper background and interest which may translate into greater political engagement should they enter Parliament.
“At the last election Hanover undertook a similar profiling exercise and identified Sarah Wollaston, Dan Poulter and George Freeman as candidates to watch in health, all of whom went on to national roles.”
He added that six of the candidates featured in the list have either been in or currently occupy political office, and therefore “should have a good understanding of how to shape and influence political and legislative processes”.
The other profiled candidates are: Kit Malthouse (Conservative), Caroline Ansell (Conservative), Andrew Dismore (Labour) and Tulip Siddiq (Labour).