Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has rightly leapt on a remark made by Alan Johnson on this morning’s Today programme.

Health Secretary Mr Johnson was asked: "Do you not have any doubts you have a millions pounds and you could have spent it on drugs, you could have spent it on treatments but instead you have spent it on a document which doesn’t actually change anything?"  The document being the NHS Constitution.

Johnson replied: “Oh, no come on….this is small beer in the NHS budget…”

Mr Lansley said that the remark betrayed Labour’s "cavalier attitude to taxpayers’ money".

CCHQ have issued a list of what £1m could buy:

  • 33 Nurses (based on salary for a top Band 5 nurse, including National Insurance contributions)
  • OR 30 Teachers (based on salary for a teacher with 5 years experience, including NI)
  • OR 26 policemen (based on salary for a policeman with 10 years’ service, including NI)
  • OR 32 Soldiers (based on salary for a corporal on Level 3, Higher Scale, including NI)
  • OR 132 hip replacement operations (based on NHS Tariff 2008-09)

Now all we need is a list of what we could have done with the money thrown at the banks.

Tim Montgomerie