Future NHS president used private healthcare in 2021, MPs say

The government’s favorite candidate for president of NHS England told MPs he used private healthcare last year to seek treatment.

Richard Meddings, the former chairman of TSB Bank Group, said he sought private care in 2021 after being diagnosed with DVT – a blood clot in a vein.

At a health and social care committee pre-nomination review hearing, Mr Meddings pointed out that he was a health service user and had private health insurance under benefits from his previous banking roles.

When asked if he had previously or had private health insurance, he told MPs: ‘I have. One of the aspects of the financial services industry is, probably since I was in my mid-twenties, I think part of the compensation package has been the provision of private health care.

Asked when he last used it, Mr Meddings said: ‘I had what turned out to be unprovoked DVT late last year.

“I started in the health service – I went to see my GP, and my GP referred me for tests in the health service, I had a series of tests to find out what was the nature of the problem, and then I basically went…I was then referred privately.

After describing recent relationships with his GP, he added: “So basically I am an absolute user of the health service. I am passionate about believing in what he stands for and does.

Mr Meddings also described the care the NHS provided for his late mother and younger sister who died after a long illness.

Her twin has just retired as an NHS surgeon and her daughter is a fourth-year medical student.

Meanwhile, Mr Meddings told MPs about a recent late shift with an ambulance crew in London which was ‘eye-opening’.

He said it was remarkable to see “the work ethic and the stress they work so hard under”.

The number one problem facing the NHS is workforce challenges, he added.

Mr Meddings said it was ‘humiliating’ to be nominated for the role.

He was chosen as the government’s preferred successor to Lord David Prior.

Following the select committee hearing, the committee will present its views on the suitability of the candidate for the post which will be sent to Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr. Javid will then review the report before making a final decision on the appointment.

If appointed, Mr Meddings will receive £63,000 a year to work two to three days a week.

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