Steve Barclay

Steve Barclay appointed health secretary amid major cabinet reshuffle

Steve Barclay has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care following Sajid Javid’s resignation.

Barclay was the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff at number 10 prior to taking up this role. Barclay said in a statement responding to his appointment: “It is an honour to take up the position of Health and Social Care Secretary. Our NHS and social care staff have showed us time and again – throughout the pandemic and beyond – what it means to work with compassion and dedication to transform lives.

“This government is investing more than ever before in our NHS and care services to beat the Covid-19 backlogs, recruit 50,000 more nurses, reform social care and ensure patients across the country can access the care they need.”

Born in Lytham St Annes, Barclay is a qualified solicitor who has represented the constituency of North East Cambridgeshire since 2010 – increasing his majority every year, amassing 72.5% of the vote in 2019.

This all follows former health secretary Sajid Javid’s resignation last night, alongside former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, sparking a major cabinet reshuffle.

In his resignation letter to the Prime Minister, Sajid Javid, said: “It was a privilege to have been asked to come back into Government to serve as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care at such a critical time for our country. I have given every ounce of energy to this task, and am incredibly proud of what we have achieved.

“The UK has led the world in learning to live with Covid. Thanks to the amazing rollout of our booster programme, investment in treatments, and innovations in the way we deliver healthcare, the British people have enjoyed months more freedom than other comparable countries.

“We have also made important strides in the recovery and reform of NHS and adult social care. The longest waiters are down by 70% and, as you know, I have been working hard on wider modernisation of the NHS.

“I have also developed radical new approaches to dementia, cancer and mental health, and prepared the health disparities white paper which will set out plans to level up health outcomes for communities that have been left behind for too long.”

The bulk of Javid’s legacy will be summarised by the Covid-19 response and how the government and the health sector battled against unprecedented pressures and challenges, throughout his tenure.

But as the former health secretary mentioned in his resignation letter, he has also contributed to revamped approaches to mental health and cancer, whilst also developing a new dementia strategy, which will be published in the near future.

More information about the new health secretary can be found here.

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