Former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt has been appointed as the new chancellor of the exchequer, following the dismissal of Kwasi Kwarteng.

Jeremy Hunt was secretary of health and then health and social care from 2012 to 2018, making him the UK’s longest serving health secretary.

Among pharmacists, he is best known for his department’s decision to cut the funding to English community pharmacy in 2015.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference in 2017, he said that these ‘efficiency savings’ were ‘not about seeing a smaller role for pharmacy but seeing a different and bigger role for pharmacy.’

Mr Hunt is currently chair of the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee and has recently been vocal about the need for an urgent long-term NHS workforce plan.

Upon the appointment of Liz Truss as Prime Minister in August, Mr Hunt took to Twitter to set out his suggestions for a six-point list of emergency NHS actions.

It included making flexible working automatic across the NHS, replacing national NHS targets with ‘easily accessible data’ and recruiting more GPs to ensure all patients have access to a named GP.

The interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery welcomed ‘the rapid appointment of Jeremy Hunt as the new chancellor at a time of major instability both for the economy and the NHS.’

She said: ‘His long tenure as health and social care secretary and chair of the select committee will ensure he is no stranger to the need to take urgent action to tackle the challenges facing the NHS and public services right now.’