Phil Hope has been appointed as a minister in the Department of Health, replacing Ivan Lewis.

Mr Hope takes over the social care portfolio. The department is in the middle of an emotive debate on the future shape of care and support, intended to precede a green paper on reform of social care funding.

The controversial debate has increased in profile as more people have become concerned over the anomalies in the present system and the growing number of older people.

Mr Hope has been given the brief as a minister, whereas Ivan Lewis was a junior minister in the department.

Mr Hope is expected to inherit most of Mr Lewis's previous ministerial responsibilities, including the third sector and social enterprise. Until the reshuffle this weekend, Mr Hope was minister for the third sector at the cabinet office.

Before that, he was a skills minister in the Department for Education and Skills and a parliamentary under-secretary of state in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, where he had responsibility for local government.

Mr Hope's other responsibilities at the Department of Health are likely to include:

  • the DH's relationship with local government;

  • mental health;

  • dignity and respect;

  • equality and human rights.

Mr Hope is also minister for the East Midlands.

His website lists tennis, juggling and computing among his hobbies.

Ivan Lewis, who until yesterday was the longest standing minister at the DH, has been moved to a junior ministerial post at the Department for International Development.