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12.06.17

Providers welcome continuity for NHS as Hunt remains at DH

Jeremy Hunt has held on to his position as health secretary in the cabinet reshuffle as he looks to drive on with his future plans for the NHS.

It follows a strong performance by the minister in the elections, as he held on to his seat in Surrey South West with 33,683 votes, which amounts to 55.7% of votes cast for the area. He beat the second placed candidate, Louise Irvine, standing for the National Health Action group by 21,590 votes.

His reappointment will mean that he has served as health secretary for five years by September, extending his stint as the longest serving health secretary ever to work in the UK government.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, welcomed the news, saying: “Jeremy Hunt’s reappointment as health secretary provides 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.”

Hopson also set out five key early priorities to ensure the NHS has the support it needs to manage next winter safely, including taking the next steps for Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and creating a compelling Budget 2017 bid to maximise the NHS capital that has been promised.

He also highlighted the need to establish the best way to address a set of rapidly growing NHS workforce challenges and agreeing how the service will manage within the sharply lower funding available over the next three years as other important priorities.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists were also quick to congratulate Hunt, tweeting: “Congratulations @Jeremy_Hunt on your reappointment as health secretary. Our president-elect @wendyburn looks forward to working with you.”

Top Image: David Mirzoeff PA Wire

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