Erstwhile Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has expanded his role in Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle, becoming Health and Social Care Secretary.
Health experts hope that Hunt will now focus attention on social care, something that has been lacking in his post as Health Secretary for the past six years.
Discussing the news, Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Today’s announcement signals that social care is being placed on an equal footing with healthcare.
“People with dementia are the biggest recipients of social care and so we hope this marks a new dawn where they do not need to fight to receive essential support.”
Junior Ministers have previously held the title for social care, most recently Jackie Doyle-Price. Care sector leaders have campaigned for years for the post to be held by a Minister who would have authority and resource to take decisive action as and when needed.
Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum (NCF) said: “The recognition of social care within the Secretary of State’s portfolio is welcome.
“There has been a great frustration within social care about the lack of parity between health and social care, despite the previous Department of Health having social care within its brief.
“This renewed focus on social care, alongside the work being undertaken around the green paper on adult social care, presents an opportunity for real concrete change.”