Jeremy Hunt MP has been elected as the new Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee.
Following an election for the position, Jeremy Hunt Conservative MP for South West Surrey, and Former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care was confirmed as the new Chair earlier this week.
Mr Hunt, who takes over from Dr Sarah Wollaston, will lead a committee of MPs tasked with examining the policy, administration and expenditure of the Department of Health and Social Care, and the performance of the NHS in England.
Following his appointment on 29 January, Hunt said improving mental health services and social care were among his highest priorities.
“Over nearly a decade in frontline politics, the NHS has always been my greatest political passion, and I am honoured to have been elected Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee,” Hunt wrote on Twitter.
“For my last six months as Health Secretary, social care was formally added to my responsibilities but it was not long enough to bring forward reforms or – more crucially – a funding settlement for social care.
“That is what I will be pressing for, because the NHS will continue to fall over every winter until we fix social care, risking both patient safety and staff morale.
“I’ll also focus on making faster progress on mental health & patient safety; recent maternity scandals show we can never be complacent. I look forward to working with my committee to provide a strong, independent voice that supports NHS staff & patients in a very pressured period.”
Responding to the appointment of Jeremy Hunt as Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation said:
“We welcome Jeremy’s appointment as Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee and look forward to working with him and the rest of the Committee on the pressing priorities faced by our members. Health leaders have been clear that workforce gaps, the growing social care crisis, NHS pensions and underinvestment in capital are having a damaging knock-on impact on the NHS and patient care. Jeremy has recognised that the NHS faces a period of significant pressure and his experience will play an invaluable role in scrutinising how the Government tackles these challenges.
We had a strong working relationship with Jeremy during his tenure as the longest serving Secretary of State for Health. We particularly welcome his support for social care reform in England and his recognition that it needs a new long term funding settlement – something that he acknowledges he was unable to deliver when he was health secretary.”