NHS Providers responds to appointment of Sajid Javid MP as secretary of state for health and social care

26 June 2021

Responding to the announcement of the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP as the new secretary of state for health and social care, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"Trust leaders will welcome the rapid appointment of Sajid Javid as the new secretary of state for health and social care. He now has number of important tasks facing him.

"His immediate challenge is to steer the NHS as it navigates this latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic while providing the health sector with the support it needs to clear the substantial backlog of care. More than five million patients are now waiting for treatment, demand for mental health and emergency services is rising fast and we face a potentially difficult winter on the horizon. These are significant tasks. This is all alongside making plans to live with COVID-19 over the longer-term.

"Workforce pressures will also be top of the in-tray for the new secretary of state. We have asked so much of our staff during the past year and they need rest and reward to tackle burnout, boost morale and prepare for the challenges ahead. Not only must the secretary of state look at the pay deal being offered to those on the frontline, but we would urge him to negotiate a fully funded workforce plan to tackle the significantly high levels of vacancies within the service and ensure a sustainable pipeline of staff.

"The secretary of state's appointment also comes during a very important year for the NHS. There is important legislation waiting in the wings, heralding the biggest reforms to the health service in over a decade. Sajid Javid will also need to ensure the needs of the NHS are represented ahead of the upcoming comprehensive spending review where major decisions about public spending will be made. This includes future funding of the NHS, long-term investment in capital for heath and care and critically, a decision on the future of social care."

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