Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Sajid Javid as the new Health and Social Care Secretary, following the resignation of Matt Hancock on Saturday. Mr Javid will be in charge of overseeing key responsibilities for health in the coming period, including future health policy, the appointment of a new NHS England Chief Executive and the Government’s lockdown-easing strategy.
Matt Hancock resigned from his role as Health Secretary on Saturday, after CCTV footage was released of him kissing a DHSC aide, Gina Coladangelo. Security fears have been raised around the placement of the video camera and leaked footage to the Sun newspaper. Justice Secretary Mr Robert Buckland has also been urged to investigate claims Mr Hancock utilised his personal email for Government business. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) insisted that all ministers conduct their government business through departmental email addresses.
NHS leaders have called upon Mr Javid to address the backlog of care that has mounted in the NHS, and to provide a plan for future social care policy directions. Mr Javid has already said that his priority as he begins his service in the post will be ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Sam Coates has been appointed Mr Javid’s special advisor. Mr Javid brings top-level ministerial experience to this new health role. He has held roles as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Home Secretary in the past, along with three other Cabinet posts.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chairman of council at the BMA said Mr Javid should show his commitment to a health service that is “underpinned with fairness for ethnic minorities”. Addressing the 5.1 million patients on waiting lists for medical care and procedures will also be a key challenge for the new Minister.
Mr Javid will be addressing the House of Commons for the first time as the Health and Care Secretary at 5.30pm today, when he is expected to confirm the UK remains on track for lifting final lockdown measures on the 19th July, after the Government delayed the reopening from the 21st June. On Sunday, Mr Javid stated that he wanted to see a return to normality “as quickly as possible”.
“I’m incredibly honoured to take up the post of Health and Social Care Secretary, particularly during such an important moment in our recovery from COVID-19. This position comes with a huge responsibility, and I will do everything I can to deliver for the people of this great country”, said Mr Javid on his appointment.
Please see below a quote from Doris-Ann Williams, CEO of BIVDA, welcoming the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to his position.
“On behalf of BIVDA, I am delighted to welcome Mr Javid to his new position of Secretary of State for Health.
We look forward to building on our strong working relationship with his Department as we emerge from the pandemic and aim to build a stronger diagnostic capacity in the NHS over the coming months. In-vitro diagnostics (IVDS) will be central to clearing the backlog in undiagnosed illness that has built up during the last year, and I look forward to discussing these issues with the new Secretary of State at the earliest opportunity.”