New health secretary outlines priorities for NHS

By Julie Griffiths on 20 July 2018 NHS Health and social care Midwives

In a speech today (20 July) the new secretary of state for health and social care has outlined his priorities for the NHS.

Matt Hancock made his speech to staff at his local hospital – West Suffolk Hospital – and explained his first priorities for the NHS would be the workforce, technology and prevention.

He said that these three areas are where ‘swift and decisive progress must be made’ firstly in order for his longer-term plans to be a success.

Read the full transcript here.

Commenting on Mr Hancock’s speech, RCM chief executive and general secretary Gill Walton said his words were very encouraging and the RCM looks forward to working with the new health secretary.
She added: ‘It is important that the message about valuing staff and valuing their expertise, professionalism and contribution to safe and high-quality care is recognised right at the top of the NHS.
‘We now need to see his government’s commitment to 3000 additional midwives over the next three years delivered, and to see a continuation of fairer pay for NHS staff following the recent pay award. His focus on access to support and training is also heartening as this is crucial to ensuring NHS staff are delivering the best possible care.’
Gill highlighted how midwives and their maternity colleagues work incredibly hard and often in challenging conditions to deliver the safe and high-quality care the secretary clearly wants. 

‘His vision is welcome; he clearly cares about the NHS, its staff and the people they care for. We now need to give the staff the resources and tools they need so that we can all work together work to deliver that vision,’ she said.