Two new health ministers have been announced today (14 June) as part of the prime minister’s ongoing cabinet reshuffle.
Conservative MP for Thurrock, Jackie Doyle-Price, has been made parliamentary under-secretary of state for health under health secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Steve Brine, who is the MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, who has also been announced as a health minister, calls himself a ‘passionate defender’ of primary care and general practice.
It is unclear which health minister will take on responsibility for pharmacy.
According to the Department of Health (DH), both ministers’ responsibilities will be announced ‘in due course’.
‘GP practices aren’t delivering enough’
Ms Doyle-Price’s constituency campaign page focuses on primary care and improving GP services.
It says: ‘Here in Thurrock we have a shortage of GPs – partly because we aren’t doing enough to attract them, and partly because GP practices aren’t delivering enough to meet local demand.
‘This Government has introduced inspection of GP practices and we will be making sure that when they take responsibility for more patients they make sure they have the staff in the practice to meet demand.
‘They get the money to do so. They must invest in their practices so that patients can see their GP when they need to.’
‘Maintaining in-community provision’
Mr Brines’ health campaign page highlights that access problems in primary care are being driven by the ‘consumerisation of healthcare’ and the growing problems of housing developments potentially swamping services.
It states: ‘As a responsible MP who puts the NHS first in his constituency, I always want to listen to local GPs and work alongside them, as well as their patients to ensure we have services in the right place at the right time.
‘As more and more houses are built that also means working closely with NHS England on GP access and maintaining important, yet small, in-community provision such as we have in South Wonston and Twyford.’
Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow, retains his role as Hunt’s deputy and Lord O’Shaughnessy holds his seat as the DH representative in the House of Lords.