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The toughest job in government?

Wednesday 1 July 2015, 18:00

How to be an effective health secretary – and how it compares with other Cabinet briefs

Guest Speaker

Rt Hon. Jeremy Hunt, Conservative, Secretary of State for Health, 2012 – present (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, 2010-12)

Panel

Rt Hon. Stephen Dorrell, Conservative, Secretary of State for Health from 1995-97, Secretary of State for National Heritage 1994-95, Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) 1992-94, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health) 1990-92

Rt Hon. Patricia Hewitt, Labour, Secretary of State for Health from 2005–07, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 2001–05, Minister for Women and Equality 2001–05, Economic Secretary to the Treasury - 1998–99

Rt Hon. Alan Milburn, Labour, Secretary of State for Health from 1999 - 03, Chief Secretary to the Treasury 1998 - 99, Minister for the Cabinet Office 2004 - 05

Chair

Nicholas Timmins, senior fellow at the Institute for Government and the King’s Fund.

How best to tackle one of the toughest jobs in government? The post of Secretary of State for Health has no job description and no appraisal system, but carries responsibility for one of the riskiest and highest profile sectors in public life. Ten former health secretaries, from Kenneth Clarke to Andrew Lansley, have revealed pearls of wisdom for their successors in a book published by the Health Foundation – Glaziers and window breakers: the role of the Secretary of State for Health, in their own words, by Nicholas Timmins and Edward Davies.

The Health Foundation and the Institute for Government invite you to hear frank reflections from three former health secretaries – Stephen Dorrell, Patricia Hewitt and Alan Milburn – on what they learned, how best to do the job, and how it compares with other roles in government.