There has been a reshuffle of the ministerial team within the Department of Health and Social Care, with new figures addressing key subjects on the health agenda such as diagnostics, innovation, vaccines and funding.
Lord Kamall is to replace Lord Bethell as the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Innovation. His responsibilities will cover areas such as the COVID-19 response, Test and Trace, Research & Development, AMR, Global Health, Data and Tech, NHS Security Management (inc. cyber security).
Gillian Keegan MP is to replace Helen Whately MP as the Minister for Care and Mental Health. Her areas of responsibility will cover the social care strategy, care workforce, dementia, learning disabilities and the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
Maria Caulfield MP is to replace Jo Churchill MP as the Minister for Primary Care and Patient Safety. Her remit will cover primary care, community health, major diseases (incl. Long COVID), patient safety, organ donation, maternity care and blood transplants.
Maggie Throup MP is to replace Nadhim Zahawi MP as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment. Ms Throup’s work will address issues including the booster jab programme, vaccine programme logistics, vulnerable group welfare, PPE supply. She will also be in charge of matters related to health inequalities and health improvement.
BIVDA’s View on the Re-Shuffle
The re-shuffles have brought back two key parliamentarians for BIVDA, Maggie Throup and George Freeman, the former and only Minister for Life Sciences. Maggie is well known to many from her earlier career in IVD sector and her marketing agency where she worked closely with the ACB. Since her election as an MP she has been a great supporter for us and a voice of reason behind the scenes as a Tory Health Whip. George has also been of great help to us over the years and knows the issues as well as all the benefits our sector brings to healthcare provision. We do not know Lord Kamell but look forward to working with him as he takes over Lord Bethell’s former portfolio at a critical time for IVD regulation in the UK.
The scheduled meetings relating to the UK Diagnostics Strategy with DHSC and the Roundtable which was due to be held on Thursday 23 September have understandably been postponed to be re-scheduled and we will keep members updated on any progress as the new ministers are updated by their teams.