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New Minister announced for Health and Social Care

Posted around 6 months ago •

The UK government has recently announced the appointment of a new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. The new minister is Victoria Atkins MP . She was appointed to the role on 13 November 2023 by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Prior to this, she served as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury from October 2022 to November 2023.

Health and Social Care Secretary

Ms. Atkins is a member of the Conservative Party and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Louth and Horncastle since 2015. She is a former barrister and has worked in the field of fraud.

Her appointment comes at a time when the UK’s health and social care systems are facing significant challenges. The government has pledged to invest a record £36 billion to reform the NHS and social care.

The government’s plan for adult social care system reform is set out in the People at the Heart of Care white paper. The plan aims to ensure that care is of outstanding quality, personalised and accessible. It details how £700 million will be spent to continue the transformation of the adult social care system in England, including investment in improved access to care and support, recognising skills for careers in care, driving digitisation and technology adoption, data and local authority oversight, support to enable people to remain independent at home, encouraging innovation and improvement, and joining up services to support people and carers.

However, the social care system in the UK is facing significant challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified some of the key problems, including means testing, catastrophic costs, and unmet need. The social care system is not free at point of use like the NHS, and many people end up paying large amounts and even selling their homes to pay for care. The quality of care received can be inconsistent, despite the best efforts of the dedicated workforce.

The government has acknowledged the need for reform, but none of the successive governments have delivered. The key issues include funding and market fragility, costs and means testing, quality of care and unmet need. The government’s plan for adult social care system reform is a step in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality social care when they need it.