Wes Streeting has been appointed as the new Labour government's health secretary, a position he shadowed in opposition.

Community Pharmacy England (CPE) chief executive Janet Morrison welcomed him to his role, saying that CPE had been 'encouraged by his recognition of the critical pharmacy funding pressures and support for the sector on the campaign trail'.

'We look forward to further strengthening Wes’ connection with community pharmacy and to working constructively with him and his colleagues to secure a sustainable future for community pharmacy that also supports the new Government’s health ambitions.

'This includes early discussions to assure the future for this critical local healthcare network through the conclusion of the 2024/25 CPCF [Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework] negotiations and to explore Labour’s interest in developing a community pharmacy prescribing service.'

Mr Streeting told journalists last month that while Labour’s plans had been ‘careful’ in terms of costing, he pledged to ‘reform our public services to get out more for what we put in’.

As part of this, the now health secretary said: ‘Primary care as a proportion of the NHS budget ought to increase.’

‘Primary care generally, [and] general practice specifically, has a lot to look forward to if there is a Labour government after the next general election,’ he added.

As shadow health secretary, Wes Streeting told delegates at the Labour party conference last autumn that he wanted to see a ‘greater role’ for community pharmacy in delivering more patient care.

In response to a question from Independent Pharmacies Association (IPA) chief executive Dr Leyla Hannbeck, Mr Streeting also called for the government to act now to support the sector, and highlighted concerns that pharmacists were not recognised as highly qualified experts in health care.

And when outlining plans to reform primary care in April last year, he suggested that neighbourhood services, like community pharmacies, could provide patients with a better service and reduce pressure on general practice.

During a visit to a community pharmacy organised last year by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), Mr Streeting said: 'For me, fixing the front door to the NHS is one of Labour’s top priorities, and I want to work with community pharmacies across the country to see what more you can do to help millions of patients across the country who are desperate to be seen.’

The MP for Ilford North is the first Labour health secretary in 14 years.

He only very narrowly held on to his parliamentary seat in the election this week, with an independent candidate standing on a pro-Gaza platform just 500 votes behind.

He was named shadow secretary of state for health and social care in 2021, taking over from Jonathan Ashworth, who lost his seat yesterday to another pro-Palestine independent.

Before this, Mr Streeting served as shadow secretary for child poverty and as shadow minister for schools.