Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock keeps job in Boris Johnson reshuffle

Matt Hancock will remain health and social care secretary under new prime minister Boris Johnson's government, following a sweeping cabinet overhaul that saw more than a dozen ministers sacked or quit.

Matt Hancock (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Matt Hancock (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The government confirmed at 8pm on Wednesday that the health secretary - who backed Boris Johnson after dropping out of the Conservative party leadership race - would retain his post.

Mr Hancock has been in the role for just over 18 months, after replacing Jeremy Hunt on 8 January 2018 in a reshuffle that saw the former health secretary move to the foreign office.

Mr Hunt - who served a record five years and 309 days as health secretary - has now moved to the backbenches after refusing a move to defence offered by Mr Johnson.

Confirmation that Mr Hancock would continue in his role as health and social care secretary came just hours after Mr Johnson, speaking outside 10 Downing Street, promised to speed up access to general practice.

GP waiting times

In his first speech as prime minister he said: 'My job is to make sure you don’t have to wait three weeks to see your GP, and we start work this week with 20 new hospital upgrades, and ensuring that money for the NHS really does get to the front line.'

Mr Johnson also promised to 'fix the crisis in social care once and for all with a clear plan we have prepared to give every older person the dignity and security they deserve'.

Mr Hancock promised earlier this month to set a new deadline for delivering the 5,000 extra full-time equivalent GPs pledged by his predecessor, and said he would resolve by next April the pension tax crisis that has forced many doctors to reduce working hours or refuse shifts to avoid punitive charges.

The health and social care secretary has been criticised over his support for private company Babylon, which has attracted more than 50,000 predominantly young, healthy NHS patients to its video consultation service GP at Hand.

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