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Lord Darzi, GQ superstar

It reads like a who’s who of up-and-coming British talent. Hollywood A-lister Christian Bale. Footballing prodigy Theo Walcott. The new Dr Who, Matt Smith. And, er, everybody’s favourite health minister, Lord Darzi.

By Steve Nowottny

It reads like a who's who of up-and-coming British talent. Hollywood A-lister Christian Bale. Footballing prodigy Theo Walcott. The new Dr Who, Matt Smith. And, er, everybody's favourite health minister, Lord Darzi.

Yes, you did read that right. Style bible GQ's list of the most powerful men in Britain includes the surgeon-turned-politician who brought polyclinics back into fashion. Clearly deciding that what its ninth annual list of Britain's powerbrokers really lacked was someone familiar with the inner workings of the QOF, GQ's editorial team included the health minister as one of ‘the next 20 names to watch in 2009' alongside all of the above.

(He was incidentally, the only health minister to make the list. Neither Alan Johnson's wider political clout nor Ben Bradshaw's mad skills on the dancefloor were enough to get them included.)

Over the past few months the general consensus in medico-politics was that Lord Darzi had gone to ground somewhat. After his NHS Next Stage Review was launched in a blaze of publicity last summer, sightings in public have been few and far between.

But now he's been making waves again. In an interview in The Times in which he said the NHS should offer patients a 'Starbucks' experience. Last week he unveiled long-awaited plans for Patient Reported Outcome Measures. And then this week he's been busy with the new complaints process.

Darzi is very much back, it seems. And the question is – what do the journalists at GQ know that we don't?

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