Care sector leaders have given their reactions after Sajid Javid replaced Matt Hancock as Secretary of State for Health & Social Care.
Javid’s appointment came after a tumultuous weekend which saw the resignation of Matt Hancock after The Sun’s publication of pictures showing him kissing aide Gina Coladangelo.
In his resignation letter to the PM, Hancock issued an apology for breaching social distancing guidance.
Hancock’s resignation was welcomed as the “bare minimum required” by Jayne Connery, Director of Care Campaign for the Vulnerable (CCFTV).
Connery said the former Health and Social Care Secretary would remain accountable for his decisions when a public inquiry into the pandemic is held next year.
She added that Hancock had “presided over a series of lockdowns without mandating any systems that could and should have provided regulators with an ability to monitor the delivery of care remotely”.
Professor John Ashton, author of Blinded by Corona, How the Pandemic is Ruining Our Health and Wealth, said Hancock’s handling of the coronavirus crisis had been an “unmitigated disaster” whose “flawed public-policy decisions” had cost many lives.
Incoming Secretary of State, Javid previously served as Home Secretary and more recently Chancellor of the Exchequer where he resigned in February 2020 after clashing with Dominic Cummings.
Javid said: “I’m incredibly honoured to take up the post of Health and Social Care Secretary, particularly during such an important moment in our recovery from COVID-19. This position comes with a huge responsibility and I will do everything I can to deliver for the people of this great country.
“Thanks to the fantastic efforts of our NHS and social care staff who work tirelessly every day, and our phenomenal vaccination programme, we have made enormous progress in the battle against this dreadful disease. I want our country to get out of this pandemic and that will be my most immediate priority.”
Nadra Ahmed OBE, executive chairman of the National Care Association, welcomed Javid’s appointment, commenting: “His previous roles will no doubt prepare him for the battle ahead to ensure that he can create a sustainable social care sector sooner rather than later.
“I believe he will know that laying down solid foundations for a reformed social care will ultimately benefit the NHS but also serve the most vulnerable in our society with dignity. We look forward to working with him on a positive agenda.”
Jane Townson, chief executive of United Kingdom Homecare Association (UKHCA), said: “We welcome the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP to his new role as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. With previous experience as Chancellor and having led the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Mr Javid brings a wealth of experience to his new role, including an understanding of social care and the challenge of sustainable long-term funding.
“We believe there are three crucial objectives for our new Secretary of State to grasp for social care: put people receiving services at the heart of the debate, empowering them to direct their own support and care, ensuring effective collaboration across Integrated Care Systems and investing in innovation and technology; invest in our care workforce, so the work is rewarded fairly and helps to fuel employment and economic growth; and deliver social care reform, including how home care services and commissioned and purchased, and clarifying the responsibility of State and citizen in meeting care costs, helping us all to plan for the future.
“We look forward to working with Mr Javid and his team.”