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Health and social care ministers announced

Health and social care ministers announced
Stephen Kinnock MP and Karin Smyth MP. Images: UK Parliament,. Released under Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the appointment of two new ministers – one for health and one for social care.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South for almost 10 years and previously a non-executive director of a primary care trust, will take on the role as minister of state for health.

And Stephen Kinnock, who became an MP in 2015 and represents Aberafan Maesteg in Wales, will become the new minister of state for care.

Reacting to his appointment on social media site X, Mr Kinnock said he was ‘truly honoured’.

He added that he was ‘looking forward’ to working with health and social care secretary Wes Streeting ‘as we seek to meet the multitude of health and social care challenges that Britain faces’.

This is understood to be the first time Mr Kinnock has been assigned the social care portfolio.

Mr Kinnock is the son of Neil Kinnock – member of the House of Lords and Labour leader from 1983 t0 1992. His mother was Glenys Kinnock, a former Labour minister and Member of European Parliament who died in December 2023 after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease some years prior.

The appointments come after Mr Streeting announced that his first visit as secretary of state would be to a GP surgery, along with NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard.

In its 2024 election manifesto, Labour pledged to ‘shift resources to primary care’ and trial Neighbourhood Health Centres which aim to ‘bring together’ existing services including district nurses, GPs and mental health specialists.

The Labour Party has also committed to undertake ‘a programme of reform’ for social care to create a ‘National Care Service’ that will be ‘underpinned by national standards, delivering consistency of care across the country’.

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