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Prime Minister rings the changes with Cabinet reshuffle

Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled her new-look Cabinet. The move has seen several new faces in senior posts, the appointment of the sixth different Justice Secretary in as any years, and health and social care brought together within the same department.

Jeremy Hunt retains Cabinet role

Jeremy Hunt retained his role as Health Secretary but the move to add social care to his portfolio can potentially be viewed as a significant step in bringing the two areas closer together and advancing greater integration between social care and health.

Mr Hunt, who became Health Secretary in David Cameron’s 2012 reshuffle, has taken on responsibility for an area previously overseen by local government. This is likely to have especially big consequences for those working in crossover sectors like Allied Health jobs, Mental Health jobs and Community Nursing.

The reshuffle also sees two new Ministers of State for the Department of Health and Social Care appointed: Stephen Barclay, who was previously Economic Secretary to the Treasury and Caroline Dinenage, who was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions.

Coherent approach to health and social care

The Association for the Directors of Adult Social Services said the move was “a welcome recognition of the importance of social care.” Vice President Glen Garrod, said: “ADASS has long called for a more coherent approach towards health and social care, and ensuring that the responsible Government department does this is an essential first step. We hope the Secretary of State will see social care as crucial in its own right, and not just viewed through the prism of what it can do for healthcare.

The NHS Confederation, which represents NHS providers and commissioners, welcomed the decision as a “good move”, saying it “should provide continuity at what is an extremely difficult time for both health and social care in England.

Changes at Ministry of Justice

There were further changes at the Ministry of Justice, with David Gauke becoming the sixth Justice Secretary in as many years. He is the first solicitor to take the role and follows a run of four consecutive non-legally qualified MPs to hold the position of the government’s chief law officer. Previously work and pensions secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury, the former City lawyer has been the MP for Hertfordshire South West since 2005.

Sam Gyimah leaves his role as prisons minister to take up the role of Universities and Science Minister for England as David Lidington becomes Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster after only seven months as Justice Secretary. Elsewhere, Damian Hinds becomes the new Education Secretary and replaces Justine Greening, who refused a move to the Department for Work and Pensions.
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