Burnham returns to DOH in reshuffle of the cabinet

The minister who first proposed scrapping MPIG to fund extended hours has been named as the new health secretary.

Andy Burnham spent a year as junior health minister between 2006 and 2007. In that time he described MPIG as 'paying people for existing', and suggested putting the money into incentives for longer opening hours.

In a 2007 interview with GP, he said he was concerned that access to GP services remained poor in many deprived areas.

But he also called for GPs to expand their services, so as to provide more integrated services in the community.

'Where GPs really want to get on, PCTs should be very encouraging and work with them to make it happen,' he said.

Mr Burnham has a long history with the health service. He started his career as a parliamentary officer at the NHS Confederation, and joined the health select committee soon after becoming an MP.

In 2006 he wrote the pamphlet that first proposed an NHS constitution.

Mr Burnham moves from his previous role as culture secretary, where he is replaced by health minister Ben Bradshaw.

At time of writing replacements had not been announced for Mr Bradshaw, nor public health minister Dawn Primarolo. Former health secretary Alan Johnson has moved to the Home Office.

jonn.elledge@haymarket.com

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