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Jeremy Hunt to continue as health secretary after reshuffle

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Jeremy Hunt is to remain as health secretary, following a limited post-election cabinet reshuffle by prime minister Teresa May.

Mr Hunt retained his seat as Conservative MP for South West Surrey in the election last week, though his majority was cut by almost 7,000 votes.

He has been in post as health secretary for almost five years, after being appointed to the role in September 2012 when he replaced Andrew Lansley.

In the run-up to the election, there had been some speculation that the former culture secretary would be replaced in the health job. But it was confirmed over the weekend that he would continue at the Department of Health.

However, two of his ministerial team at the DH have lost their seats in the election and will now be replaced.

Nicola Blackwood, who was appointed in July 2016 to lead on public health, has lost her seat in Oxford West and Abingdon.

Nicola blackwood 3x2

Nicola blackwood 3x2

Nicola Blackwood

Meanwhile, David Mowat, also appointed last summer – to cover community health and care – lost his seat in Warrington South.

Their replacements for the public health and community briefs are yet to be announced by the DH.

In a statement isued in the wake of the election result on Friday, the Royal College of Nursing said for health and social care must be a “greater priority” for the next government.

The RCN said ministers must commit to election promises to boost mental health care, as well as calling on them to provide assurances to NHS staff from European Union countries and to improve pay.

Commenting on Mr Hunt’s reappointment, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said today that the move would provide “valuable continuity and experience at a time of enormous challenge for the NHS”.

“He has already made an important contribution in this role, particularly through his commitment to improving patient safety. We look forward to working with him and his ministerial team,” said Mr Hopson.

He also highlighted “five key early priorities” for Mr Hunt, including ensuring the NHS had the support needed to manage next winter safely, the next steps for sustainability and transformation plans, and creating a budget bid to maximise the health service capital that has been promised.

He also called for Mr Hunt to establish the best way to address a set of “rapidly growing NHS workforce challenges”, and agree how the service will manage within the “sharply” lower funding available over the next three years.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said: “We look forward to continuing to work with Jeremy Hunt and would like to congratulate him on his reappointment as secretary of state for health.

“This will provide continuity at a difficult and uncertain time for the country in general and for the NHS in particular,” he said, adding that Mr Hunt is due to address the NHS Confederation annual conference in Liverpool on Thursday – his first public speech since the election and reshuffle.

 

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Doremouse

    GOD HELP US

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  • For all the NHS staff who voted for this piece of work and the other Conservative clowns, we know who to look at when the shit hits the fan

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  • A hint is not good enough. It appears that the prospect of industrial action, insufficient nurses to staff the hospitals during times of crisis, an exhausted and hacked off work force and a reduction in those coming from the EU have finally penetrated his thick skull. Things nurses have been threatening for some considerable time. This is nothing more than political expediency, designed to win votes at an election that could be called at any time.

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