Tories unveil new primary care minister and give GPs power

The DoH has announced that Earl Howe will be the health minister responsible for primary care.

The hereditary peer has been the opposition spokesman for health and social services in the House of Lords since 1997. He will now be parliamentary under secretary of state for quality. 

Health secretary Andrew Lansley announced details of his 'strong ministerial team' shortly after the coalition government's plans for the NHS were revealed on Wednesday.

On Thursday Mr Lansley pledged that there would be ‘no more top-down reconfigurations in the NHS' and said clinical evidence, patient outcomes and local decisions would drive any future services changes.

‘We are committed to devolving power to local communities - to the people, patients, GPs and councils who are best placed to determine the nature of their local NHS services,' he said.

One of his first decisions since taking office was to halt NHS London's radical plans for the capital.

Former nurse Anne Milton has been named parliamentary under secretary of state for public health and will have a lively portfolio covering nursing and midwifery, health visiting, professional regulation, medical education and vaccination.

Simon Burns becomes minister of state for health with responsibilities including NHS performance and reconfiguration of services.

Liberal Democrat Paul Burstow becomes health minister for social care with responsibility for long-term conditions and mental health.

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