Digital health figures react to Matt Hancock remaining as health secretary

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock is one of the few cabinet minister to retain their post in Boris Johnson’s government.

Hancock, who also ran for the Conservative leadership but endorsed Johnson after pulling out, was initially made health secretary by Theresa May in July last year.

During his time at the department, a lot of Hancock’s focus has been on the digitisation of the health service, which has seen the unveiling of the Long Term Plan, the Topol Review, as well as bids to axe fax machines and pagers from the service as the NHS aims to go paperless by 2023.

Doctorlink CEO, Andrew Gardner said: “I welcome Matt Hancock continuing as Health Secretary. He has been a consistent champion for digital health technology at a time when it has been most needed. With so much pressure on the NHS, the UK needs a 21st century Health Secretary who is willing to explore new ways to solve longstanding problems.”

Alan Lowe, CEO of Visionable, commented on what needs to come next following the change of government.

He said: “We all know it. The NHS – and its frontline staff – need support today. Needless change would be a distraction to the job in hand, so this continuity is great to see. Matt Hancock’s mission to digitise the NHS has laid the right foundations, yet so much more must and can be done. The technology that is needed is already here. We’re already working with NHS foundations across the country to open up access to specialist clinicians and to create new possibilities for care pathways. Now we just need to move forward.

“The new prime minister has signalled that hospital upgrades will be a focus of this government, so it’s time to take action. The NHS has all the ingredients for change – it’s already happening. Let’s accelerate it.”

An article examining Hancock’s first year at department from The Guardian questioned his approach to the job, suggesting some NHS leaders have been highly critical of him so far.

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