By Gareth Iacobucci
Former health secretary Stephen Dorrell has become the first elected chair of the House of Commons health select committee.
Mr Dorrell, who served during John Major’s cabinet between 1995-1997, was elected ahead of former nurse and BUPA director Nadine Dorries and practising dentist Sir Paul Beresford to the role.
He replaces Labour MP Kevin Barron, who has served in the role since 2005.
Further announcements on which MPs will make up the rest of the committee are expected soon.
Following his appointment, Mr Dorrell said his remit would be focused on shaping the debate around how to manage the tighter financial constraints facing the NHS.
He said: ‘We all know that government spending is going to be more constrained in the years ahead; I believe this makes it doubly important that the Select Committee is able to produce authoritative reports which analyse the impact of government decisions on the patients and staff of the NHS.
‘At the heart of the debate about the future of public services is the familiar, but increasingly challenging, requirement to reconcile public aspirations with available resources. There is no bigger issue facing our society.’