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Steve Barclay MP appointed as the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Following a dramatic week in Westminster, culminating in the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, new changes are afoot in various ministerial and cabinet roles. Sajid Javid, the previous H&SC Secretary stepped down from his role on July 5, the same day as Chancellor Rishi Sunak. In Mr Javid’s place, Stephen Barclay MP has now been appointed as the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, BIVDA looks forward to working with him on the key issues impacting the UK’s IVD sector, the NHS and the improvement of patient care.

Briefing on Steve Barclay

Mr Barclay has held various high-profile roles in Westminster including: Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (November 2018 – January 2020), Chief Secretary to the Treasury (February 2020 – September 2021) and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office (September 2021 – July 2022). he was elected as a Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire in May 2010.

Mr Barclay is a fervent Conservative Party loyalist, never having voted against the Party’s Whip. He has a strong financial services background, having worked for Barclays bank and the Financial Services Authority.

In terms of his work ethic, Conservative MP Vicky Ford described Mr Barclay to the BBC as someone known for listening “very, very hard and getting things done”. Mr Barclay read History at Cambridge, is qualified as a Solicitor and, on a personal level, enjoys rugby, jazz and skydiving.

Future Approach to Health Policy

Regarding his position on health policy-making, Mr Barclay has focused a lot on health funding in the past. In a 2014 article for Conservative Home, Barclay raised concerns about health funding allocations, noting specifically the unequal distribution between health innovation, primary care, and the then CCGs. In the same article, reference was made to the ‘danger’ of outsourcing decisions to unelected bodies, such as NHS England.

During his time at the Treasury, Mr Barclay branded the NHS as “bottomless pit, resistant to change and unaccountable”. In the 2022 process of passing the Health and Care Bill, Mr Barclay voted against a late-stage amendment that sought a report to be made every two years on assessing and meeting the workforce needs of the health from the Secretary of State.

Mr Barclay has regularly voted in favour of private sector involvement in the NHS, including support for representatives of private healthcare providers sitting on NHS decision-making and on ICS boards.

Please see below the recent changes to Ministerial appointments, including in DHSC:

  • Johnny Mercer as a Minister of State (Minister for Veterans’ Affairs) at the Cabinet Office. He will attend Cabinet.
  • Graham Stuart as a Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Stephen McPartland as a Minister of State (Minister for Security) at the Home Office
  • Tom Pursglove as a Minister of State jointly at the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice
  • James Heappey as a Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence
  • Will Quince as a Minister of State at the Department for Education
  • Maria Caulfield as a Minister of State at the Department for Health and Social Care
  • Paul Scully as a Minister of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. He remains as Minister for London.
  • Marcus Jones as a Minister of State at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • Matt Warman as a Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Trudy Harrison as a Minister of State at the Department for Transport
  • Edward Timpson CBE as Solicitor General

Additionally, yesterday also saw the Prime Minister appoint the following to the Cabinet:

  • Greg Clark as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
  • James Cleverly as Secretary of State for Education
  • Sir Robert Buckland QC as Secretary of State for Wales
  • Kit Malthouse as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
  • Shailesh Vara as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
  • Andrew Stephenson  as Minister without Portfolio. He will attend Cabinet.
Natalie Creaney

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