Could it be Jeremy Hunt is envious of education secretary Michael Gove? The announcement that the health secretary is exploring “Ofsted style” ratings for hospitals and care homes may well stem from a view that his education counterpart enjoys a better understanding of which organisations within his remit are “failing”.
Mr Hunt spoke this week of parents knowing how well schools are performing, thanks to Ofsted’s reviews. There is no doubt he wishes the same level of transparency for patients, especially when considering what the Francis report is likely to say about the opaque nature of NHS services − but he is also likely to want greater visibility for himself, too.
The belief that Mr Gove can access granular information which tells him which 100 schools are struggling is seductive.
Health secretaries live in fear of being surprised by the next scandal and an easily understood rating which pointed them in the right direction and provided both cover and reason for intervention has long been a holy grail.