Jeremy Hunt has been reappointed to the cabinet, under the new title of secretary for health and social care, in prime minister Theresa May’s reshuffle this afternoon.
The decision was confirmed by 10 Downing Street this afternoon.
The new title for Mr Hunt and the department suggest an expansion in social care responsibilities. Previously these have been split between the departments of health, and communities and local government. Details of any changes have not been announced.
The government has previously said a green paper on social care reform will be published in the summer, following a retreat from Conservative manifesto proposals on a funding overhaul.
His reappointment means Mr Hunt is almost certain to become the longest serving senior health minister since the NHS was created, on 3 June.
He has previously said he was happy for the health role to be his last big job in politics.
Mr Hunt has indicated in recent days that a long term funding plan is required for the NHS.
Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP and chair of the Commons health committee, tweeted following the appointment: “Really encouraging to see both health and care together, now we need the long term planning and sustainable funding for the scale of increased demand and costs.”