Jeremy Hunt has promised to push for social care funding in his new role as chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee.
Announcing the news of his appointment on Twitter, Hunt said he will press for a funding settlement for the sector, something he said he didn’t have time to do during his time as Health Secretary.
“For my last six months as Health Secretary, social care was formally added to my responsibilities but it was not long enough to bring forward reforms or – more crucially – a funding settlement for social care,” he said.
“That is what I will be pressing for, because the NHS will continue to fall over every winter until we fix social care, risking both patient safety and staff morale.
“I’ll also focus on making faster progress on mental health and patient safety; recent maternity scandals show we can never be complacent. I look forward to working with my committee to provide a strong, independent voice that supports NHS staff & patients in a very pressured period.”
The news follows an accusation by Hunt that Philip Hammond blocked a 10-year plan for social care during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Speaking to the Health Service Journal, Hunt said the task of solving the UK’s social care crisis was “unfinished business” from his time as health minister.
He told the journal that he wanted to produce a 10-year plan for social care to match the one drawn up for the NHS two years ago, but this was blocked by the then chancellor Hammond.