back to article Without a trace: Baroness Dido Harding to step down as chair of NHS Improvement

Baroness Dido "Queen of Carnage" Harding will step down from her role as NHS Improvement chair in October. The news, first broken by HSJ, comes two months after Harding applied, without success, to be the new NHS England boss – a role taken up by Amanda Pritchard as of 1 August. The Conservative Party life peer had been chair …

  1. macjules
    Devil

    Harding remains in the job until October.

    She can still do a lot of damage in that time.

  2. Forget It
    Coat

    NHS Improvement

    > Harding will step down from her role as NHS Improvement chair in October.

    Now that's what I call an Improvement!

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: NHS Improvement

      I hate to piss on your cornflakes, but we don't know which trough she's going to stick her nose in next. We might look back and wish she'd stayed where she is!

  3. mark4155
    Pint

    Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish...

    You can pretend to do a good job, eventually the mask slips and your on your way out with the cardboard box and pot plant.

    This is a classic case of overpayment and underperformance with a healthy dose of nepotism.

    There is a god in heaven after all! Dido Harding should go back to the lords and repent for her sins against the people of this country.

    I'm off down the pub for a celebratory pint, anyone care to join me.

    !Ding-dong! The Witch is dead

    Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!

    Ding-dong! The Wicked Witch is dead

    Wake up you sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed

    Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead

    She's gone where the goblins go

    Below, below, below

    Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out

    Ding-dong's the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low

    Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead!

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish...

      Seems a denier of reality downvoted you. Sad people.

    2. Annihilator

      Re: Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish...

      "You can pretend to do a good job, eventually the mask slips and your on your way out with the cardboard box and pot plant."

      Sadly, I've found this to rarely be the case. Far more common for them to move on to a newer and greater role once they've *almost* been found out (as she seems to have done multiple times before). Most people get to retirement before getting found out, and to be fair this isn't the end of the line for her - I suspect she'll just end up in another senior role. Plus she's a life peer - she's already on board the gravy train for life. Maybe the Cabinet Office's Anti-Corruption Champion can ensure she doesn't get another government role, but given she shares a bed with that guy, I doubt it.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish...

        "Maybe the Cabinet Office's Anti-Corruption Champion can ensure she doesn't get another government role, but given she shares a bed with that guy, I doubt it."

        Does her husband know?

  4. batfink Silver badge

    So

    Are there any actual improvements to the NHS during her time as Chair of NHS Improvement that she could legitimately claim to be responsible for?

    Somehow I think I already know the answer.

    I can see where I've been going wrong all this time - I should have married a Tory.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: So

      There were plans that hospital catering will start serving Crack and Plaice to patients, but few doctors realised it was a typo.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: So

        There were plans that hospital catering will start serving Crack and Plaice to patients, but few doctors realised it was a typo.

        There's something fishy about that story. What have you been smoking?

    2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

      "I should have married a Tory."

      Now steady on, there old chap. That's a bit extreme.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: "I should have married a Tory."

        That reminds me of:-

        A male Tory MP married a Labour MP ...Unfortunately on their wedding night they had a major argument about politics and got into bed back to back. After a while his wife said “ darling, there’s a split in the Labour Party and if the Tory member would like to stand he’d have a very good chance of getting in” “ too late “ he replied, “ the Tory member has stood as an independent and lost his deposit.”

    3. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

      Re: So

      I wonder what the cretin who downvoted you thinks she did to make the NHS better, or was it a knee-jerk reaction ... Tory=good?

      As for me, may she burn in hell, along with Hancock and indeed so many others.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lost her sugar daddy

    Once horsey-set member Matt Hancock was found with his trousers down, Harding lost the person who had endlessly promoted her towards her level of incompetence. Had he stayed in his post, she would have been a shoo-in for the top job at the NHS.

    Still, now she can spend more time with hubby, John Penrose, the Prime Minister's anti-corruption champion...

    1. Commswonk

      Re: Lost her sugar daddy

      Harding lost the person who had endlessly promoted her towards her level of incompetence.

      I think that should have read well beyond her level of incompetence.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Lost her sugar daddy

        I think that depends on what you mean by incompetence or competence at the job.

        Ability to run Covid-19 Test and Trace effectively to support the strategy to reduce infections and deaths to an absolute minimum - incompetent. (the SAGE described the effect of Test and Trace on reducing the level of infection last October as having only a "marginal impact" https://www.ft.com/content/acf4d4f8-5a99-4e65-9af4-ca229a519eb7)

        Ability to brazenly defend the indefensible, make claims wholly unsubstantiated by the facts and reality and promote yourself as 'the best person for the job' while being completely loyal to the people who put you in post - highly competent.

        Joke alert icon because, well, 'many a true word spoken in jest'.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost her sugar daddy

      With regards to Matt Hancock and social distancing; not only did the video show he broke the rule with his lady friend, but some also think that on other occasions he possibly went negative.

      1. Commswonk

        Re: Lost her sugar daddy

        ...not only did the video show he broke the rule with his lady friend...

        Quite; he should have checked whether or not his brief as Health Secretary included penetration testing, which it clearly didn't.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lost her sugar daddy

      "Harding lost the person who had endlessly promoted her towards her level of incompetence"

      Don't bet on Harding being her only champion. She's an Oxford PPE (with Dave and Boris) and Tory apparatchik and will get parachuted into another trough with a political agenda before the year is out.

    4. NIck Hunn

      Re: Lost her sugar daddy (baby)

      Surely it's her sugar baby. Little Matty's only just 12, although he acts a lot younger most of the time.

  6. bronskimac

    I would apply, but I've not donated to the Tories, married a Tory, slept with a Tory, I didn't go to a private school, and I'm not a banker.

    1. Irongut

      Private school is far beneath the Tories, plebs like myself can go to private school. Eton is a public school.

      That epithet sounds like it is more inclusive rather than the most exclusive school possible but such are the delights of the English language.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        "such are the delights of the English language"

        Public schools were originally indeed public - they were founded for the education of the "deserving sons of the poor". However, just like salmon (originally a food of the poor for the catching) they got taken over by the rich and rendered "exclusive" some time around the late C18 with the rise of the new mercantile rich.

        1. Trigonoceps occipitalis Silver badge

          Re: "such are the delights of the English language"

          " ... just like salmon (originally a food of the poor for the catching) ... "

          At one time the law of the land (England) was that you could not feed your apprentices salmon more than 4 times a week. Probably still on the statute books.

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: "such are the delights of the English language"

            Lobster's for plebs, too.

            1. Snapper

              Re: "such are the delights of the English language"

              So is the phlegm of the sea - Oysters!

              Oh yuk!

      2. KarMann
        Headmaster

        Jokes aside (I know, I know, the horror!), I suspect bronskimac may be using the American meaning of 'private school', which is much like your/our 'public school', and much more appropriately named.

      3. gandalfcn Silver badge

        “Why public schoolboys like me and Boris Johnson aren’t fit to run our country”

        https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/aug/08/public-schoolboys-boris-johnson-sad-little-boys-richard-beard

  7. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Tea & Trumpets

    Hopefully one day we will see an inquiry into how the T&T was actually developed, who got the money and why.

    I have my doubts that people who actually built the system seen much of that £££.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tea & Trumpets

      Yeah, but what's the point? Unless we can get our money back it will solve nothing. The 'emergency rules' are there for a reason.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Tea & Trumpets

        My guess is that the relevant papers (if they exist) will be embargoed for 30 to 100 years, and that anyone who should be held to account will be dead or otherwise beyond justice by the time the truth comes out.

        Any inquiry in the next few years will be dominated by people anxious not to rock the boat, or damage their chances of promotion or just holding on to their jobs. Irrespective of the integrity of whichever judge* actually chairs the inquiry the people giving evidence will have their own backs to guard, and I just cannot believe that Baroness Harding will suddenly come over all contrite and apologetic all of a sudden.

        *Why is it that judges and lawyers always get these gigs? Scientists are just as good, if not better at asking questions, are interested in the facts, and not part of a profession which is steeped in the culture that it is the quality of the argument that matters, rather than the truth. Personally I'd have the inquiry led by someone like Sir Paul Nurse who actually understands the science and statistics

        1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Tea & Trumpets

          Quote

          "*"

          Thats an easy one to answer, judges and lawyers have their way of obscuring the truth behind 17 layers of legalese, plus stringing the whole thing out by 5 yrs, and giving just enough evidence to clear the client of any major wrong doing.

          Whereas science and engineering types need to be at their jobs because society needs them doing their job rather than listening to politicians waffle on about how its all wasnt their fault

          Read up on the 'Pournelle' theory of government services....

        2. Ken G Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Tea & Trumpets

          My guess is that the relevant papers (if they exist) will be be found in an unencrypted S3 bucket within a year.

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    Not a career move I'd fancy

    Following in her footsteps? I would have to look out for all the toilet paper, I would hate to have it stick to my shoes like it has hers...

    But if you are a go getter, there is no where to go but UP!

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson

      Re: Not a career move I'd fancy

      I nominate Baldrick. He should have a cunning plan

  9. DJV Silver badge

    She should...

    ...have stuck to making records.

    What? Wrong Dido? Oh well, I suppose this one has made some "records" of a different sort - such as wasting the most amount of other people's money in the shortest possible time. Then again, that applies to most of the idiots she knows, so maybe even that's not a record.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: She should...

      To be fair, Dido the singer has a much more suitable full name for the title of Baroness (look it up if you don't know it)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: She should...

      > ...have stuck to making records.

      No Angel and Life For Rent pretty much sum up the other Dido.

  10. JohnMurray

    .....now, if I really wanted to f**k-up the NHS, even better than they are presently doing, I would appoint her head of NHSx.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Steady on, impacting the NHS would mean NHSX actually delivering something, however shite it may be.

      Has there been evidence of that happening?

  11. Muscleguy Silver badge

    Note one of those other countries was Scotland. Scotgov opted for the Android & Apple versions straight away. Spent a fraction of what WM did on it even allowing we are only 8% of the population of the UK. So we saved a packet on the Barnett consequencials.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Here';s the annoying thing: the technology Apple and Google created didn't even need an app :-( There are health authorities around the world that deployed it with nothing more than a website :-(

  12. Howard Sway Silver badge

    still being procured under emergency regulations, without competition

    Gotta keep that money being hosed towards those with already deep pockets. If they haven't been set up for a life of carefree wealth already, then the scheme would have to be judged a failure by the likes of those in charge.

    The amounts that have been wasted and misdirected here without oversight are a true scandal, but I doubt that we've heard her name for the last time when more vacancies at the money trough become available in the future.

    Amazing what you can get away with whilst you distract the public with unimportant culture war circuses.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hear the cheering

    I Can hear the cheering from the guardian and its readers from here

    1. mechgru2

      Re: Hear the cheering

      I think that the cheers from Daily Telegraph readers will be louder, she's not exactly done the Tory party an favours.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Hear the cheering

      From all honest, sensible people. Or do you believe only such are honest?

  14. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Without a trace

    I see what you did there.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    If you’re going to bugger something up

    Make it big, really big.

  16. Medical Cynic

    "NHS Improvement" is an oxymoron.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm glad Dido Harding will not be head of the NHS. Her husband has been linked in the media to a right-wing group calling for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system – scrapping the NHS in favour of a system where people pay for insurance either through private firms or a government scheme.

    1. Snapper

      As has Farage!

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      It's Tory dogma, unwritten but there. Actions speak louder than words.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      "Her husband has been linked in the media to a right-wing group calling for the NHS to be replaced by an insurance system"

      The Conservative party?

  18. Kane Silver badge
    Joke

    Well, Hot Damn...

    ...and there's me just getting over those involuntary reactions to Twat Twat, when El Reg goes and sets it off again!

    You'll be getting a therapists bill from me one of these days...

  19. JonGodfrey

    Candidate

    My Irish Setter, Ralph has applied. He's slightly over qualified by comparison

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Candidate

      Why, will he piss all over people's work and then run off to get his belly rubbed?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Instant improvements already

    Just by her leaving

  21. Tron

    Soon...

    Come October, our Queen will be free to replace Johnson. Then she will be in charge of EVERYTHING.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dido

    Missing a letter.

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