Jeremy Hunt says NHS was a ‘rogue system’ during his time as Health Secretary | Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt has described sitting on top of a ‘rogue system’ when he was Health Secretary and said he was ‘deeply shocked’ by failures in care.

The current chairman of the Commons health and social care committee has said fear of transparency and honesty within the NHS when it comes to preventable deaths and mistakes is a ‘major structural problem’ which must be resolved, in an excerpt from his new book published in the Sunday Times.

In the book, Zero: Eliminating Unnecessary Deaths in a Post-Pandemic NHS, Hunt said the “corrosive consequences of such thinking” were cover-ups that the Department of Health and NHS “were complicit in”.

“Too often, failed managers were retrained for jobs in another part of the country, where they continued to make the same mistakes. And because of secrecy, the wheels of change are moving slowly,” he said.

“It was not about rogue staff or a rogue hospital. It was a malicious system. A rogue system which, as health secretary, I sat on top of.

Hunt said he was “deeply shocked” by care failures, including preventable deaths.

He warned that when it comes to changes in the health service “the foundation of any reform must be to improve the quality as well as the quantity of care provided”.

In recent days, the former cabinet minister has refused to rule himself out of a future Tory leadership race.

Hunt was Boris Johnson’s main challenger for the party’s top job in 2019 and has been touted as a possible candidate in the event of a re-run.

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