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Public health and ‘productivity’ ministers complete new DH line-up

Jane Ellison has been appointed under secretary of state for public health, concluding the new Department of Health ministerial line up.

The reappointment of Ms Ellison, the Conservative MP for Battersea, Balham and Wandsworth, came as DH also confirmed George Freeman in the role of life sciences and innovation minister – a joint role with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills – and the specialist remits of the other health ministers announced during the week.

This included CQC chair David Prior, appointed to the team yesterday, in the new role as under secretary of state for NHS productivity, while North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt is minister of state for community and social care and Ipswich MP Ben Gummer is under secretary of state for care quality.

It comes after Jeremy Hunt was reappointed health secretary earlier in the week.

Ms Ellison said: ‘We have already made great strides in improving the health of the nation so people can live longer, healthier lives. But more needs to be done and I am privileged to have been asked to continue this essential work.’

Meanwhile, commenting on the new NHS productivity brief, Mr Prior said the NHS was ‘facing the huge challenge of looking after a rapidly-ageing population with many long-term health conditions’.

He added: ‘This challenge lies at the heart of the NHS five year forward view. It is a huge privilege to be asked to help the NHS and wider social care system to meet this challenge.’