Following the announcement of Alan Johnson’s new appointment as Health Secretary, new prime minister Gordon Brown unveiled more recruits in his cabinet reshuffle.
Supporting the health secretary at the Department of Health are ministers of state Dawn Primarolo MP and Ben Bradshaw MP, while Ann Keen MP and Professor Sir Ara Darzi have taken on the role of junior ministers alongside Ivan Lewis MP.
The appointment of Darzi – a practising surgeon – has been described by Andy Cowper, editor of British Journal of Healthcare Management and Commissioning Health as a shrewd move. “Darzi commands huge respect in the National Health Service and among clinicians. A clinical innovator, Darzi has also been unafraid to be involved with the politically unpopular decisions of reconfiguring services in London,” Cowper explained.
In a press briefing, the PM said Darzi will work with Alan Johnson to improve patient care, increase the convenience and accessibility of health services, and build a new partnership with NHS and staff and patients.
In other changes announced so far, former health minister Andy Burnham has been appointed chief secretary to the Treasury, but it has not yet been announced who will take over Lord Hunt’s role as minister for pharma, a DH spokesperson told PharmaTimes UK News.