Health president steps up to plate

THE politician chosen to head Health & Social Care did not really want the job and called himself the ‘reluctant pair of safe hands’.

Deputy Al Brouard was a Policy & Resources member in the last States, but yesterday took over reluctantly in the Health & Social Care hot seat. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28815719)
Deputy Al Brouard was a Policy & Resources member in the last States, but yesterday took over reluctantly in the Health & Social Care hot seat. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28815719)

Deputy Al Brouard was the successful candidate for the post, responsible for about 1,000 nurses, a further 1,000 staff, and a budget approaching £130m. a year, which is roughly a third of total States expenditure.

He will lead the fight against the risks of the pandemic and in particular a possible second wave.

However, in a speech that had been hastily put together, Deputy Brouard sounded disappointed that no other strong contenders had put themselves forward.

‘We have been chosen by the electorate and somebody has to step up to the plate, and I am sure there are others better than me for this role, but we can’t play chicken with health, so in the early hours I cobbled this speech together.’

Deputy Brouard said the job was like playing 3D chess in a wind tunnel, with language from a sci-fi book and acronyms in place of real words.

The mandate of HSC was outlined as extremely complex, and extremely upsetting when something inevitably goes wrong.

In an unusual pitch, Deputy Brouard fired off a broadside warning his political colleagues that he needed their support to do the job well.

‘My problems will be your problems, my success will be your success.

‘That’s why I referred earlier to not taking prisoners, because I can’t do this without you, I will need your support for the budget, for working together, unlocking more joint working, more work on prevention, and I know full well that you cannot cease a service easily.

‘You don’t abrogate your responsibility by appointing me today.

‘Please don’t leave the phone ringing unanswered at Frossard House.

‘I will need dedicated support, not reports and studies and more red tape, but people on the ground now, and I don’t just mean politicians and not a civil servant one day a week on the second Thursday of the month, but real people, real action, right now.’

Towards the end of his speech, Deputy Al Brouard warmed up to the job, and said he had a ‘steely character’ and that he would do his ‘absolute best’ and give his utmost ‘endeavours’.

He was nominated by the former president of HSC, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, who promised to hold hands and guide the new committee.

Deputy Brouard saw off the challenge from Deputy David De Lisle by 29 votes to 7.

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