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Editor's blog Friday 18 March 2011: EXCLUSIVE - Paul Bate is No 10's new health policy adviser

The new health adviser in the 10 Downing Street policy unit is Paul Bate.

He is not, however, the health academic Professor Paul Bate of UCL Centre for Health Informatics and Multiprofessional Education (CHIME), as we originally published.

He is, rather, the management consultant Paul Bate, formerly of 2020 Delivery.

D'oh to me. Sorry to Paul Bate (Professor), and to the actually appointed Paul Bate.

Quickly: the correct Paul Bate is returning to the PM's HQ, having previously served in Tony Blair's Delivery Unit under Michael Barber, alongside Greg Beales (who according to Guido Fawkes' report, is now a speechwriter for Ed Miliband.

This would have been during the period when Monitor chair David Bennett was the non-political Chief Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair and Head of the Policy Directorate and the Strategy Unit in 10 Downing Street.

Isn't the Conservatives' Tony Blair fetish getting serious?

First, David Bennett to chair Monitor; then failed attempts to get Alan Milburn to chair the NHS Commissioning Board, as HSJ revealed). They can't afford Simon Stevens, which must be annoying for them.

From particle physics to policy
Paul Bate is ex-McKinseys. His PhD is in particle physics. And he is recommended by the kind HPI reader who pointed this out, who's a clinician. This reader said, "when news broke he was going to No. 10, we were sorry to see him go but the NHS was getting someone like that - he's clever and pragmatic, good at relating to people".

Which sounds good. It's a tough job. And particle physics is stuff of mind-bending complexity. It always makes me think about Schrodinger's Cat ... which, in the context of the proposed NHS reforms, might not be a bad analogy.

Paul Bate's 2020 Delivery biog reads as follows.

"Paul Bate joined 2020 Delivery as a Director in July 2006. With NHS clients, Paul focuses mainly on strategy, productivity improvement and capability building. Paul's recent clients include acute trusts, GPs, and Primary Care Trusts. Paul has developed several problem solving training programmes, and is a faculty member on 2020 Delivery's Fast and Effective Projects programme.

"Paul leads 2020's government practice, specialising in delivery planning; strategy development; and organisational design. Paul is also an experienced facilitator, leading workshops at all levels - from front-line hospital staff and enforcement officers to strategy sessions with Ministers and civil service top teams.

"Prior to joining 2020, Paul worked in the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit, where he ran national reviews on cancer, elective waiting times, long term conditions and healthcare acquired infections. Paul began his consulting career at McKinsey & Company, where he was an Engagement Manager and worked in the transport, defence, chemicals and banking sectors.

"Paul has a Ph.D. in particle physics from Manchester University'.

The 2020 Delivery press release announcing his exit said, "A director of the public sector management consultancy 2020 Delivery Ltd is one of the new advisors appointed by No 10 as Prime Minister David Cameron looks to strengthen his policy unit.

"Paul Bate, 36, is to become senior advisor on health and social care. His  appointment was confirmed following meetings with both Mr Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

"The health portfolio will be seen as particularly challenging given the scale of the NHS reform programme. Paul Bate joined 2020 Delivery as a director in 2006. He’d previously served in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit between 2003 and 2006 where he led national reviews on cancer, elective waiting times, long term conditions and healthcare acquired infections. He is due to take up his new post from the start of April.

"Commenting on the appointment, David Seymour, Director and joint-founder of 2020 Delivery, said: 'Paul has been a much valued member of the 2020 team and we will be sad to see him go. However, we recognise this is a great opportunity for him to continue with his contribution to the healthcare agenda from within government. It clearly reflects well on our youngcompany that one of our directors has been appointed to a role at the heart of government policy. As a company we look forward to building on the successes that Paul has helped us achieve; working with providers and commissioners of public services to bring about improved outcomes and lasting change'."