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Personally I think Mr Lansley would better off spending his time talking about the crisis in the health service and the sacking of nurses and doctors rather than his own health. The question as to be asked have we ever had a shadow health secretary worse than Mr Lansley? Personally I can`t think of one!

I think it is good that Andrew shared his experience and good that we have a Shadow Health Sec who has had a very important bad experience with the NHS and wants to address the problems. I hope his passion will produce fruits for the NHS.

Lansleys talking about the stroke is his version of Ivan Cameron. Adds a personal side. I personally think it should be kept out...its not that important as to why he cares about the NHS (in any case he needed private healthcare to find out the cause of the problems...), but he needs to start doing more about fighting the Government, hes been strangely quiet.

I disagree James, and think Cameron's personal experience with the NHS through his son has added a valuable insight.

Understanding a person’s formative experiences is a great aid to understanding how they will react to situations and problems. Since we elect MPs to deal with any number of unknown issues that will occur during their term, I consider it very helpful to know their backstory, not just what they say.

In my view there is nothing wrong with Andrew Lansley sharing his experience. If nothing else, it shows that he has had direct experience of receiving healthcare for a serious condition. It also shows he is human. People become deaf and blind to statistics when they are quoted at them ad infinitum. They are always interested in reading about and hearing new ideas.

Personal experiences make a very powerful narrative. They are best used to illustrate an argument in favour of a policy, or against current practice. They also make a politician appear more human, but they cannot replace good argument or good policy.

Andrew Lansley seems a very nice person, which is a good start. We now need some policy.

I completely agree. Full marks to both Cameron and Lansley on this.

It is like the new Tory grammar schools opposition.

If someone like David Davis, a grammar school boy from a poor background who has benefitted from the social mobility it has given him presented an argument why they are/are not needed it would have resonance.

When it is presented by a wealthy old etonian, it seems like the elite preaching to the poor.

It is such a shame that the health ministry is considered so inferior to the Home office and the Foreign office. I think Liam Fox would be the ideal candidate for shadow health secretary as he is a doctor himself, so who could deny his knowledge and experience. Unfortunately that would mean demoting him, and i think he is one of the few really excellent people we've got.

While I think Andrew Lansley does a good job I think it could be good for the party and a good PR move to make Anne Milton Shadow Health Secretary. She could probably do a better job than Lansley and being a former nurse might help.

Liam Fox was an excellent shadow health secretary.It's a pity he was moved. Personally I think health is a very important portfolio and we need some one like Dr Fox to cover health

Andrew Lansley's experiences make interesting reading. It's good Andrew made a full recovery, but I can't help noting that he had access to a PRIVATE hospital where his stroke was eventually diagnosed.Would the story have had such a happy ending had he relied on the NHS alone?

Would the story have had such a happy ending had he relied on the NHS alone?

I would expect it makes it all the more important to him that a) such equipment and service be generally available and b) the private sector acts as a safeguard against state failure.

I have heard Anne Milton speak and like her but I'm not sure if she has the ability to handle such a massive brief or would devote any more time to it than Andrew Lansley does.

I think Lansley definitely needs to be higher profile. This is ground we must fight on

I wasn't aware that Anne Milton had been a nurse. I agree that this would make her an excellent shadow health secretary, and her personal experiences would be a lot more interesting and relevant. Anne Milton for Shadow Health!

Did he make a recovery?

Don't want to mention this but Mr Lansley's poor treatment by the NHS was at a time when there was a Conservative Government.;)

With regards to Liam Fox, actually I'm warming to the man, however he won't have practiced medicine for many years so I would see no benefit in him returning to Health because of his background as a doctor, I would have thought a man of his calibre would be good at the Home Office or Treasury though.

"I think Lansley definitely needs to be higher profile. This is ground we must fight on" 12:26

But we should have done in 2005, most of what is now happening in the NHS now, was known about by NHS insiders then, alas Iraq sidetracked most things and given Labour had got their patter well rehearsed on the subject they actually didn't mind too much.

PS to my 17:33 post, Agenda for Change is a total shambles, the duplication of effort across Trusts is a massive waste and has created an unbelievably low level of morale across the whole service.

I agree completely with verulamgal's 11.56 comment:
"Liam Fox was an excellent shadow health secretary.It's a pity he was moved. Personally I think health is a very important portfolio and we need some one like Dr Fox to cover health".
To take the NHS from where it is now and make it into a highly efficient service delivering high quality medical care nationwide requires someone of the highest calibre to lead it.
Liam Fox is a doctor, he has already researched the health services of some other European countries and he performed very strongly in the leadership contest.
This thread also underlines the more general point that we have to convince the electorate at some stage that we, as a party, are more capable than Nulab at actually managing big departments competently.
I haven't noticed that we have really addressed this rather fundamental issue at all.

Tim M, has A Lansley done an "any questions for.."?...

I did once sit through a Lansley speech at Conference. The guy next to me said it was a rum thing when the shadow health secretary's speech made you want to kill yourself.

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