Darzi quits ministerial role

Health minister Lord Ara Darzi has resigned as a government minister. He will stand down at the summer parliamentary recess on 21 July.

Professor Ara Darzi
Professor Ara Darzi

He is returning to surgery and academic work, but will retain a role as a government adviser.

Lord Darzi said he was ‘deeply grateful’ to Gordon Brown for giving him the privilege of serving as a government minister and allowing him the freedom to make ‘tough and important decisions’.

He added: ‘Making quality the organising principle of the NHS has revitalised professional pride, created great appetite for improvement and built enormous momentum. The movement for change is now embedded across the NHS and will continue for many years to come’.

Health secretary Andy Burnham said: ‘The Next Stage Review has set a defining vision for the National Health Service for years to come, embedding quality at the heart of everything it does, and engaging thousands of staff and patients along the way.’

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said Lord Darzi had been instrumental in shifting the focus of healthcare reforms to providing quality care.

‘We want to pay tribute to Lord Darzi, especially for putting clinical staff at the centre of this vision,’ Dr Carter said. He added that the surgeon had left a ‘lasting legacy’ on the NHS.

Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb said Lord Darzi’s resignation was a massive blow to Gordon Brown.

‘As a respected doctor, Darzi led the initiative on the NHS for Labour and questions must be asked on whether there is more to his resignation than meets the eye,’ he said.

‘A short spell as a minister seems to be the new route into the House of Lords for new Labour supporters.’



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