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Independents' Day

Jo Churchill named as new primary care minister

Conservative MP Jo Churchill has been named the new minister for primary care as part of Boris Johnson's recent cabinet reshuffle. 

As parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department of Health and Social Care, Ms Churchill's remit will also cover prevention and public health.

Additionally, Nadine Dorries has been confirmed as health minister responsible for mental health, suicide prevention and patient safety. 

Their appointments follow a cabinet reshuffle by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which saw health secretary Matt Hancock keep his job, but Seema Kennedy, who only became the minister for primary care in April, move to the Home Office. 

While it is her first under-secretary position, this is not the only time Ms Churchill, MP for the Suffolk constituency of Bury St Edmunds, has combined healthcare with politics.

She previously served as parliamentary private secretary when Jeremy Hunt was health secretary in 2017, and acts as chair and vice chair on a series of All Party Parliamentary Groups, including on personalised medicine, breast cancer and medical research. 

Until last month, Ms Churchill held the role of assistant Government whip, and since being elected to Parliament in 2015, her record includes voting in favour of pharmacy funding cuts in England.

Meanwhile, trained nurse Ms Dorries, MP for Mid Bedfordshire, has previously called for shorter time limits on abortions, and proposed that sex education teaches abstinence. Like Ms Churchill, she voted against allowing terminally ill people to be given assistance to end their lives.

Amid the reshuffle, Matt Hancock is remaining as health secretary - a position that has given him a platform to ambitiously pledge to fix pension tax problems by next April, look at setting a deadline for recruiting 5,000 extra GPs, and promise £150m to improve NHS IT resilience

Readers' comments (5)

  • David Banner

    There’s a Minister for Primary Care? Really?? Never knew that.
    What a fine job they’ve done for us too!!

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  • Wow, I never knew that either. Perhaps it is because the person in post has never done anything for Primary Care.

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  • Primary care doesn’t include GPs

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  • she has never worked in the NHS, nadine dorries was a nurse for less than 7 years and left in 1982 - according to both CVs on line. So they have NO recent or valid experience in primary care and feel they have the right to tell me how to do my job. I don't think so.
    Time to remove NHS decisions from parliament control. If they have no valid primary care experience they should not be put in these roles. Would you board a plane with a pilot who has never flown a plane before? because that's how dangerous it is. You make a bad decision at the top and peoples lives are at risk.

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  • Who ?

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