PM's Andrew Lansley Week
Andrew Lansley Week. I think even the health secretary himself would agree that it's not the most obvious crowd-pleaser, but that's what we on PM are about to embark on.
We've invited the health secretary for England to join us live every day this week on PM to discuss his proposed changes to the NHS in England. The scale of the changes being proposed is disputed - the government stresses evolution, others see revolution - but let's take our cue from the prime minister, who told the Today programme that it was "quite a fundamental change". 80% of the NHS budget will be controlled by GPs. Every hospital to become a foundation trust. No more Primary Care Trusts or Strategic Health Authorities. All patients to have the choice of "any willing provider". And those are just the headlines.
The more I thought about all this, the more it became apparent to me that this subject couldn't be covered in any depth with a typical six-minute interview, or even a 10-minute one. And so I came up with the idea of a series of interviews, stripped across the week, each one tackling a different aspect of the reform, and Mr Lansley agreed.
On Monday, it was the role of GPs. Tuesday, it's patient experience. Wednesday, cost and the role of competition. Thursday, holding the NHS to account. Each one will be preceded by a short explainer piece from our health correspondent, Jane Dreaper. And on Friday, we'll put questions raised by the PM audience to Mr Lansley.
Some might say it's too much time to give to one politician of one party. But this interview series will mark the publication of the bill. Doubtless the debate will evolve, and we will return to it in other ways later in its Parliamentary passage.
We will represent other perspectives during the interview series, but I make no apologies for keeping the focus on Eddie's interviews with the man responsible for the reforms. And judging from the size of the postbag already, there's plenty of substance for 5 serious interviews.
Perhaps this could launch a whole new genre of interview... Ed Balls Month? Sarah Teather Summer? The Year of Oliver Letwin?