Jeremy Hunt will continue in health secretary role

Junior doctors in England have suspended their strike action planned after agreement was reached with the government to resume negotiations over their new contract. In the image, Health secretary, Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt will remain as health secretary, contrary to speculation in the media on 14 July 2016 that new UK prime minister Theresa May had ousted him from the post as part of a cabinet reshuffle.

Hunt, who is the longest serving health secretary in UK politics history at three years and 305 days, expressed his delight on Twitter. “‘Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated…’ Thrilled to be back in the best job in government,” he said.

Stephen Dalton, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, commented: “I would like to congratulate Jeremy Hunt on his reappointment and I look forward to continuing to work with him. This continuity provides stability in political leadership at a critical time for the health services where the focus must be on transformation for the benefit of patients.”

Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund, said: “Jeremy Hunt faces some formidable challenges. He is on record as saying the NHS will need more money and he must now lead an honest debate with the public about what the health service can deliver with its budget. This means reviewing current priorities and avoiding making new commitments which cannot be funded.”

Ham added that tackling the growing crisis in social care will be a key test of May’s promise on a country that works for everyone and must move much higher up Hunt’s agenda. He added that Hunt must rebuild trust with NHS staff, especially junior doctors, to ensure that a motivated, engaged workforce delivers the best possible care for patients.

The names of the junior health ministers who will make up Hunt’s team are likely to be announced over the next few days. Pharmacy minister Alistair Burt has already announced that he will step down in September 2016.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, July 2016, Vol 297, No 7891;297(7891):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201434

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