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Hunt sets out ‘mission’ to implement ‘step change’ in GP services

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he willl be on a ‘mission’ to improve GP services in the next Parliament.

In his first NHS announcement since his reappointment to health secretary yesterday, Mr Hunt said there would be a ‘step change’ in services offered through GP practices so that old and vulnerable patients would get care of the ‘highest standard’.

Citing ‘dramatic improvements’ to hospital care over the last few years in the wake of the Mid Staffordshire hospital scandal, Mr Hunt said his ‘biggest priority’ now was to make the same improvements to care outside hospitals.

Mr Hunt said: ‘My biggest priority now is to transform care outside hospitals – just as we have dramatically improved the quality of care inside hospitals in the last few years. All of us want every single older and vulnerable person to be treated with the highest standards of care – so we need a step change in services offered through GP surgeries, community care and social care.

‘That is my mission, and I know it is the mission of the whole NHS too.’

It comes as Prime Minister David Cameron has announced two more appointments to the Department of Health in his first all-Conservative Government.

Ben Gummer, the MP for Ipswich, was named Parliamentary under-secretary of State at the Department of Health while Alistair Burt, the MP for North East Bedfordshire, is a new minister of State at the Department of Health.

Mr Gummer was previously the private secretary to education secretary Nicky Morgan. He is the nephew of House of Lords Conservative representative Lord Chadlington.

Mr Burt, who practiced as a solicitor in London in the 1980s, has held two previous ministerial posts. He was minister for disabled people between 1995 and 1997 and Parliamentary under-secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 2010 and 2013. He was also assistant chief whip and deputy Conservative Party chairman between 2008 and 2010.

More ministerial appointments are expected.