Jeremy Hunt will continue in health secretary job, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

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6.23pm: Here’s our daily news digest: HSJ Executive Summary: Jeremy’s back at Richmond House

5.11pm: Mr Burt set out on his website, before the election, some thoughts on the NHS.

He states the NHS “remains by all accounts one of the best health systems in the world” and that the “very small element of private sector involvement in the NHS will continue under any future government”.

4.59pm: Alistair Burt has been named as the new minister of state at the Department of Health, the post held before the general election by Lib Dem Norman Lamb. His previous posts include deputy chair of the Conservative Party, and he was a junior minister at the foreign and commonwealth office from 2010-13. Since 2013 he has not been in government. He was also a minister during the 1990s at the Department of Social Security.

3.05pm Also commenting on the re-appointment of Jeremy Hunt as health secretary, Chris Ham, chief executive of The King’s Fund said: “The re-appointment of Jeremy Hunt as secretary of state for health will bring some welcome continuity as the NHS enters one of the most challenging periods in its history.

“It is also an opportunity to continue the work on safety and quality of care he started in the wake of the Francis report.

“His first priority must be to plug the growing black hole in NHS finances by securing additional funding for the current financial year. This should go hand-in-hand with a renewed drive to improve productivity to ensure the NHS is playing its part in responding to the pressures it is facing.

“Looking beyond this, the government must use the Spending Review later this year to put the NHS on a sustainable financial footing for the rest of the parliament. The additional £8 billion a year by 2020 pledged in the Conservative manifesto is welcome but is the bare minimum needed to maintain standards of care and will not pay for new initiatives such as seven-day working. More money will also be needed for social care.

“In the long term, as the Barker Commission recommended, a new settlement is needed for health and social care which ends the historic divide between the two systems. For a party seeking to govern as one nation, securing the future of the NHS - the most tangible expression of this aspiration - must be a key priority.”

2.55pm Commenting on the reappointment of Jeremy Hunt as health secretary, NHS Confederation chief executive Rob Webster said: “I would like to congratulate Jeremy Hunt on his reappointment and I look forward to continuing to work with him as we tackle the biggest challenges in the NHS for a generation.

“His reappointment provides stability in political leadership - something that can only help our members. The political will to support the implementation of the 5 year forward view, the financial support for the NHS and the consequential changes in the way in which care is delivered will be high on the agenda. ”

2.50pm Responding to Mr Hunt’s re-appointment, Jeremy Taylor, Chief Executive of National Voices, the health and social care charity coalition, said: “Jeremy Hunt brought a much needed focus on the safety and quality of care in the last Government. 

“We congratulate him on his re-appointment and look forward to continuing to help him and his colleagues focus on the things that most matter to patients, service users, families and carers.

“Health and social care face huge financial and quality challenges in the next few years. National Voices believes that engaging people fully in their health and care is key to meeting these challenges. This means designing services around people’s needs and ensuring that people have a much stronger voice in key decisions.

“The Conservative Party manifesto backed the ‘forward view’ created by the NHS and its partners, including on NHS funding,  but little has been said about the future funding of social care. This now needs to be addressed urgently. Further cuts to social care, and cuts to people’s support from benefits, could have a damaging impact on people’s health, further escalating demands on the NHS.

“National Voices members have set out what needs to be done in Person Centred Care 2020. This is an agenda for improving care, with the NHS, statutory agencies and charities working together. We look forward to working with the new Government to put these plans into practice.”   

2.46pm …And here’s the prime minister confirming that Mr Hunt is back at health:

2.29pm Speaking to HSJ last month, Jeremy Hunt argued that weekend working may be cheapest way to meet growing demand in the health service. Mr Hunt indicated that there would be no funding for seven day working beyond the £8bn overall commitment.

2.25pm The Conservative Party has not had full control of the NHS for 18 years. Given the scale of the victory – and that of Labour’s defeat – they could have stewardship of the service well into the next decade.

What will they do? HSJ editor Alastair McLellan makes his predictions.

2.11pm Mr Hunt told HSJ last December that he had asked the prime minister to keep him on as health secretary until 2017.

2.00pm HSJ understands that Jeremy Hunt will continue as health secretary. More to follow.

1.27pm In other interesting developments, Norman Lamb, the former Lib Dem care minister, has told a local news journalist in his constituency that he will formally announce a bid to become leader of his party:

1.17pm Some speculation on who will get the health secretary job:

1.00pm Back on the bread and butter issue of NHS finances, Labour MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw tweets:

12.42pm Andy Burnham to stay on as shadow health secretary.

12.41pm Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall will stay on as shadow care minister, attending the shadow cabinet.

10.58am Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group’s chief executive has resigned. The CCG confirmed on Friday that Jonathan Fagge stepped down from his position with immediate effect.

10.56am While we are waiting for the prime minister to announce who he will be placing in the Department of Health, here’s some news from last Friday you may have missed:

The West Midlands trust entered into formal NHS England contract arbitration last month over a £4m dispute with Wolverhampton CCG over two unresolved areas of the trust’s contract for 2015-16.

The first dispute, valued at £2m, was over the CCG’s intention to withdraw recurrent funding for the provision of seven day working and supernumerary ward nurses.

10.41am The prime minister tweets:

10.38am Sonia Stewart, chief executive of Northampton General Hospital, tweets:

10.34am Response to Mr Halfon’s appointment

10.31am Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow, has been appointed deputy chairman of the party. One of his big campaigning issues is scrapping hospital car parking charges.

10.30am Stay tuned to HSJ Live to keep up to date with the latest on the government’s health appointments.

7.00am Good morning. Staff at James Paget University Hospitals Foundation Trust and Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group have streamlined the procedure for considering inpatients for NHS continuing healthcare (CHC), resulting in a drastic reduction in the time it takes to discharge them.