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Secretary of State
for Health and Social Care
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Steve Barclay Official Portrait Cropped.jpg
Incumbent
Steve Barclay
since 25 October 2022
Department of Health and Social Care
StyleHealth Secretary
(informal)
The Right Honourable
(UK and the Commonwealth)
Status
Member of
Reports toPrime Minister of the United Kingdom
AppointerThe Crown
on advice of the Prime Minister
Term lengthAt His Majesty's pleasure
Formation14 October 1854
First holderSir Benjamin Hall
Salary£143,552 (including salary as MP)
Websitewww.gov.uk/government/ministers/secretary-of-state-for-health-and-social-care Edit this at Wikidata

The secretary of state for health and social care, also referred to as the health secretary, is a secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for the work of the Department of Health and Social Care.[1] The incumbent is a member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom.

The position can trace its roots back to the nineteenth century, and has been a secretary of state position since 1968. For 30 years, from 1988 to 2018, the position was titled Secretary of State for Health, before Prime Minister Theresa May added "and Social Care" to the designation in the 2018 British cabinet reshuffle.[2]

The office holder works alongside the other health and social care ministers. The corresponding shadow minister is the shadow secretary of state for health and social care, and the secretary of state is also scrutinised by the Health and Social Care Select Committee.[3]

The current health secretary is Steve Barclay who was appointed by Rishi Sunak on 25 October 2022.

Responsibilities

Corresponding to what is generally known as a health minister in many other countries, the health secretary's remit includes the following:

History

The first Boards of Health were created by Orders in Council dated 21 June, 14 November and 21 November 1831. In 1848, a General Board of Health was created with lay members as its leadership[5] and the first commissioner of woods and forests as its president. In 1854, this board was reconstituted and the president appointed separately. However, the board was abolished in 1858 and its function of overseeing the local boards was transferred to a new Local Government Act Office within the Home Office. From 1871, that function was transferred to the new Local Government Board.

The Ministry of Health was created in by the Ministry of Health Act 1919 as a reconstruction of the Local Government Board. Local government functions were eventually transferred to the minister of housing and local government, leaving the Health Ministry in charge of Health proper.

From 1968, it was amalgamated with the Ministry of Social Security under the secretary of state for social services, until a de-merger of the Department of Health and Social Security on 25 July 1988.

Since devolution in 1999, the position holder's responsibility for the NHS is mainly restricted to the health service in England, with the holder's counterparts in Scotland and Wales responsible for the NHS in Scotland and Wales. Prior to devolution, the secretaries of state for Scotland and Wales had those respective responsibilities, but the Department of Health had a larger role than now in the co-ordination of health policy across Great Britain. Health services in Northern Ireland have always had separate arrangements from the rest of the UK, and are currently the responsibility of the health minister in the Northern Ireland Executive.

A small number of health issues remain reserved matters, that is, they are not devolved.

According to Jeremy Hunt the department receives more letters than any other government department and there are 50 officials in the correspondence unit.[6]

List of ministers

Colour key (for political parties):
   Whig    Conservative    Radical    Peelite    Liberal    Labour    Unionist    National Labour    National Liberal

President of the Board of Health (1848–1858)[edit]

President of the Board Term of office Political party Prime Minister
As First Commissioner of Woods and Forests Lord John Russell
7th Earl of Carlisle-edit.jpg
The Earl of Carlisle 1848 17 April 1849 Whig
12th Duke of Somerset.png
Lord Seymour
MP for Totnes
17 April 1849 1 August 1851 Whig
As First Commissioner of Works
12th Duke of Somerset.png
Lord Seymour
MP for Totnes
1 August 1851 21 February 1852 Whig
Lord John Manners.jpg
Lord John Manners
MP for Colchester
4 March 1852 17 December 1852 Conservative The Earl of Derby
WilliamMolesworth.jpg
William Molesworth
MP for Southwark
5 January 1853 14 October 1854 Radical The Earl of Aberdeen
(Coalition)
President of the Board of Health
Sir Benjamin Hall, Bt.jpg
Benjamin Hall
MP for Marylebone
14 October 1854 13 August 1855 Whig
The Viscount Palmerston
William Cowper-Temple, Lock & Whitfield woodburytype, 1876-85.jpg
William Cowper
MP for Hertford
13 August 1855 9 February 1857 Whig
William Monsell, Lord Emly.jpg
William Monsell
MP for County Limerick
9 February 1857 24 September 1857 Whig
William Cowper-Temple, Lock & Whitfield woodburytype, 1876-85.jpg
William Cowper
MP for Hertford
24 September 1857 21 February 1858 Whig
Charles Bowyer Adderley, Lord Norton.jpg
Charles Adderley
MP for Staffordshire Northern
8 March 1858 1 September 1858 Conservative The Earl of Derby
Board of Health abolished in 1858; responsibilities transferred to
the Privy Council (1858–1871), then the Local Government Board (1871–1919).

Minister of Health (1919–1968)[edit]

Minister Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Dr. Christopher Addison LOC 16027831872 (cropped).jpg
Christopher Addison
MP for Shoreditch
24 June 1919 1 April 1921 Liberal David Lloyd George
(Coalition)
Alfred Mond.jpg
Alfred Mond
MP for Swansea West
1 April 1921 19 October 1922 Liberal
Arthur Griffith-Boscawen Westminster1899.jpg
Arthur Griffith-Boscawen
MP for Taunton
24 October 1922 7 March 1923
(Lost seat 1922)
Conservative Bonar Law
Chamberlain Neville.jpg
Neville Chamberlain
MP for Birmingham Ladywood
7 March 1923 27 August 1923 Conservative
Stanley Baldwin
1st Viscount Brentford 1923.jpg
William Joynson-Hicks
MP for Twickenham
27 August 1923 22 January 1924 Conservative
John Wheatley MP.jpg
John Wheatley
MP for Glasgow Shettleston
22 January 1924 3 November 1924 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Chamberlain Neville.jpg
Neville Chamberlain
MP for Birmingham Ladywood then Birmingham Edgbaston
6 November 1924 4 June 1929 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
ArthurHGreenwood.jpg
Arthur Greenwood
MP for Nelson and Colne
7 June 1929 24 August 1931 Labour Ramsay MacDonald
Chamberlain Neville.jpg
Neville Chamberlain
MP for Birmingham Edgbaston
25 August 1931 5 November 1931 Conservative Ramsay MacDonald
(1st National Min.;
2nd National Min.)
Edward Hilton Young.jpg
Hilton Young
MP for Sevenoaks
5 November 1931 7 June 1935 Conservative
Kingsley Wood cropped.jpg
Kingsley Wood
MP for Woolwich West
7 June 1935 16 May 1938 Conservative Stanley Baldwin
(3rd National Min.)
Neville Chamberlain
(4th National Min.;
War Coalition)
Walter Elliott MP.jpg
Walter Elliot
MP for Glasgow Kelvingrove
16 May 1938 13 May 1940 Unionist
Malcolmmacdonald.jpg
Malcolm MacDonald
MP for Ross and Cromarty
13 May 1940 8 February 1941 National Labour Winston Churchill
(War Coalition;
Caretaker Min.)
BrownErnest.jpg
Ernest Brown
MP for Leith
8 February 1941 11 November 1943 National Liberal
Henry Willink.jpg
Henry Willink
MP for Croydon North
11 November 1943 26 July 1945 Conservative
Aneurin Bevan (crop).jpg
Aneurin Bevan
MP for Ebbw Vale
3 August 1945 17 January 1951 Labour Clement Attlee
Hilary Marquand.png
Hilary Marquand
MP for Middlesbrough East
17 January 1951 26 October 1951 Labour
Harrycrookshank.jpg
Harry Crookshank
MP for Gainsborough
30 October 1951 7 May 1952 Conservative Winston Churchill
The National Archives UK - CO 1069-166-17 Macleod crop.jpg
Iain Macleod
MP for Enfield West
7 May 1952 20 December 1955 Conservative
Anthony Eden
No image.svg
Robin Turton
MP for Thirsk and Malton
20 December 1955 16 January 1957 Conservative
No image.svg
Dennis Vosper
MP for Runcorn
16 January 1957 17 September 1957 Conservative Harold Macmillan
No image.svg
Derek Walker-Smith
MP for East Hertfordshire
17 September 1957 27 July 1960 Conservative
Enoch Powell Allan Warren.jpg
Enoch Powell
MP for Wolverhampton South West
27 July 1960 20 October 1963 Conservative
No image.svg
Anthony Barber
MP for Doncaster then Altrincham and Sale
20 October 1963 16 October 1964 Conservative Alec Douglas-Home
No image.svg
Kenneth Robinson
MP for St. Pancras North
18 October 1964 1 November 1968 Labour Harold Wilson
Post merged with Ministry for Social Security in 1968.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Services (1968–1988)[edit]

Secretary of State Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Crossland MP.jpg
Richard Crossman
MP for Coventry East
1 November 1968 19 June 1970 Labour Harold Wilson
No image.svg
Keith Joseph
MP for Leeds North East
20 June 1970 4 March 1974 Conservative Edward Heath
Mme Barbara Castle, Ministre britannique du développement outre-mer.jpg
Barbara Castle
MP for Blackburn
5 March 1974 8 April 1976 Labour Harold Wilson
David Ennals.jpg
David Ennals
MP for Norwich North
8 April 1976 4 May 1979 Labour James Callaghan
No image.svg
Patrick Jenkin
MP for Wanstead and Woodford
5 May 1979 14 September 1981 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Official portrait of Lord Fowler crop 2.jpg
Norman Fowler
MP for Sutton Coldfield
14 September 1981 13 June 1987 Conservative
Mr John Moore M.P. addressing the Annual LSE Society Dinner, 5th June, 1985.jpg
John Moore
MP for Croydon Central
13 June 1987 25 July 1988 Conservative
Post split into Secretary of State for Social Security and Secretary of State for Health in 1988.

Secretary of State for Health (1988–2018)[edit]

Secretary of State Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Ken Clarke 2010.jpg
Kenneth Clarke
MP for Rushcliffe
25 July 1988 2 November 1990 Conservative Margaret Thatcher
Official portrait of Lord Waldegrave of North Hill 2020 crop 2.jpg
William Waldegrave
MP for Bristol West
2 November 1990 10 April 1992 Conservative
John Major
Official portrait of Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone crop 2.jpg
Virginia Bottomley
MP for South West Surrey
10 April 1992 5 July 1995 Conservative
Stephen dorrell mp -nhs confederation annual conferencepercent2c manchester-11july2011 - crop.jpg
Stephen Dorrell
MP for Loughborough then Charnwood
5 July 1995 2 May 1997 Conservative
Frank Dobson MP, crop.jpg
Frank Dobson
MP for Holborn and St. Pancras
3 May 1997 11 October 1999 Labour Tony Blair
Alan Milburn 2014.jpg
Alan Milburn
MP for Darlington
11 October 1999 13 June 2003 Labour
Official portrait of Lord Reid of Cardowan, 2020.jpg
John Reid
MP for Hamilton North and Bellshill then Airdrie and Shotts
13 June 2003 6 May 2005 Labour
Patricia Hewitt.jpg
Patricia Hewitt
MP for Leicester West
6 May 2005 28 June 2007 Labour
Alan Johnson MP.jpg
Alan Johnson
MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
28 June 2007 5 June 2009 Labour Gordon Brown
Andy Burnham2.jpg
Andy Burnham
MP for Leigh
5 June 2009 11 May 2010 Labour
Official portrait of Lord Lansley crop 2.jpg
Andrew Lansley
MP for South Cambridgeshire
11 May 2010 4 September 2012 Conservative David Cameron
(Coalition)
Official portrait of Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP crop 2.jpg
Jeremy Hunt
MP for South West Surrey
4 September 2012 8 January 2018 Conservative
David Cameron
(II)
Theresa May
(I·II)

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (2018–present)[edit]

Secretary of State Term of office Political party Prime Minister
Official portrait of Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP crop 2.jpg
Jeremy Hunt
MP for South West Surrey
8 January 2018 9 July 2018 Conservative Theresa May

(II)

Official portrait of Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP crop 2.jpg
Matt Hancock
MP for West Suffolk
9 July 2018 26 June 2021 Conservative
Boris Johnson

(I·II)

Sajid Javid Official Portrait Cropped.jpeg
Sajid Javid
MP for Bromsgrove
26 June 2021 5 July 2022 Conservative Boris Johnson

(II)

Official portrait of Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP crop 2.jpg
Steve Barclay
MP for North East Cambridgeshire
5 July 2022 6 September 2022 Conservative
Official portrait of Dr Thérèse Coffey crop 2.jpg
Thérèse Coffey
MP for Suffolk Coastal
6 September 2022 25 October 2022 Conservative Liz Truss
Official portrait of Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP crop 2.jpg
Steve Barclay
MP for North East Cambridgeshire
25 October 2022 Incumbent Conservative Rishi Sunak

See also

References

  1. ^ "Secretary of State for Health and Social Care". gov.uk. Retrieved 29 June 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Jeremy Hunt keeps Heath Secretary with added social care brief despite overseeing NHS 'winter crisis'". The Independent. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 5 April 2021. Jeremy Hunt has kept his job as Health Secretary, despite overseeing what is widely viewed as a winter crisis in the NHS. However, Theresa May has added social care to his responsibilities, to signal her determination to sort out one of the biggest issues facing the country.
  3. ^ "Health Secretary answers questions on the Government's handling of the pandemic". UK PARLIAMENT. 4 June 2021. Retrieved 12 March 2022. Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, answers questions from MPs on the Government's handling of the covid-19 pandemic.
  4. ^ "Secretary of State for Health and Social Care - GOV.UK". gov.uk.
  5. ^ "4 Dec 1848, 5 - The Observer at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  6. ^ Hunt, Jeremy (2022). Zero. London: Swift Press. p. 14. ISBN 9781800751224.