In numbers: Jeremy Hunt’s reign as Britain’s longest-serving health secretary

Jeremy Hunt became Britain’s longest-serving custodian of the NHS this weeki having surpassed Margaret Thatcher’s Health Minister, Norman Fowler, and Aneurin Bevan, the man who set up the health service in the first place.

With waiting times getting increasingly worse, doctors and nurses fleeing in their droves, care standards falling dramatically and the private sector increasingly gobbling up services the question on everyone’s mind is; How has he survived so long?

Given his record over the past five years and 274 days, one can only wonder.

Since taking office he can claim credit for:

  • Overseeing the “worst winter on record” this year (his words)
  • 7,000 fewer hospital beds
  • An 842 per cent rise in patients waiting more than 4 hours in A&E
  • 1.4 million more patients on NHS waiting lists
  • Health service spending, in absolute real terms (i.e. as a cash sum adjusted for retail or consume price inflation), never been higher
  • A squeeze on pay that has led to many vacancies going unfulfilled
  • 18-week target for patients to be treated after a GP referral not been hit since 2016

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