Following a cabinet reshuffle from Boris Johnson, which has seen secretary of state for health and social care, Matt Hancock, remain in his position, NHS Providers has outlined the key tasks he has ahead of him.
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These included ensuring that the Prime Minister delivers on his promise to make the NHS his top priority, as well as supporting the healthcare service during one of its toughest periods – facing winter pressures, staff shortages and an ongoing social care crisis.
Deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said: “Matt Hancock is staying on as secretary of state as the health and care system faces one of the most challenging winters in recent memory.
“We are already seeing extraordinary pressures, with increasing demand for care compounded by the impact of flu and norovirus, against a background of severe workforce shortages and social care services in crisis. These are present urgent challenges for the secretary of state and the new government.
“Prime minister Boris Johnson has described the NHS as his top priority. NHS leaders, staff and patients will expect the government to deliver on its promises to increase year on year spending on health, invest in NHS buildings and equipment, deliver more nursing staff and find a long-term fix to the NHS pensions crisis, which has accentuated the workforce problems the service faces this winter.
“But we also need to see answers to some of the big questions not tackled in this election campaign – the question of how we put social care on a sustainable footing, improve NHS performance against key standards, how a future immigration system will support the NHS’s ability to recruit from overseas, and the need for realism and honesty about what must be done to close the gap between ever increasing demand and the workforce, services and beds to meet it.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the secretary of state and his team to ensure the challenges faced by trusts are understood and addressed.”
Source: National Health Executive