Heart tsar quits with attack on ministers

  • @oliver_wright

One of the Government's most senior health advisors is to leave his role – in part because of his anger over Andrew Lansley's health reforms.

Sir Roger Boyle, the Department of Health's heart tsar, said that claims by ministers that parts of the NHS needed to be abolished because services were over-managed was "baloney".

He added that the Government appeared not to be interested in which parts of the NHS were working well and was intent on wholesale reform regardless of the consequences.

"This government has been so busy condemning what's happened before that...they haven't been prepared to look at things that have worked well," he told the Health Service Journal. "To say that we're over-managed is complete baloney. To abolish all management and hand it over to a microcosm of smaller commissioners...we've done smaller commissioning in the past and tried bigger commissioning and settled for something in between and that seems to be the best compromise.

"I'm very worried about where we're going to over the next few years because corporate memory will be lost. I've nothing against clinical engagement but we could have done it without abolishing large chunks of the NHS."

Sir Roger, who as national director for heart disease was responsible for strategies for the treatment and prevention of heart attacks, also criticised the abolition of strategic health authorities and primary care trusts.

"What we need is stability, not more change. Where we know we have tried things and they have worked, great. But we have also tried things that haven't worked and we need to learn from that as well, otherwise we... just re-learn the same lessons time and time again," he said.

He added: "I'm partly leaving because I'm opposed to this substantial reorganisation of this service I love deeply and which is regarded across the world as one of the best."