Press release -

Department of Health: New Health Secretary appointed

Andrew Lansley CBE was appointed yesterday as Secretary of State for Health. Mr Lansley is the MP for South Cambridgeshire and previously served as the Shadow Health Secretary – a position he held from 2003.

Mr Lansley said:

“It is an immense privilege to be appointed Secretary of State for Health in the new Government.

“Just as Britain needs strong and stable Government, so we intend to bring to the NHS the consistent, stable reform, which enables it to deliver improving quality of care to patients.

“I have met many people working in the NHS and social care; I know they want to focus on patients and to be accountable for the results they achieve.

“I am determined that we will have an NHS in which the patient shares in making decisions; where quality standards are evidence-based and form the basis of the design of services and their management; and where the objective is consistent improvement in the outcomes we achieve, so that they are amongst the best in the world.

“To achieve this in the current financial crisis requires leadership and highly effective management. The NHS will be backed with increased real resources but with this comes a real responsibility. We will need progressively to be more efficient, to cut the costs of what we do now, to innovate and re-design, in order to enable us to meet increased demands and to improve quality and outcomes.

“This will not happen in a top-down, bureaucratic system. Decisions must be taken with patients, close to patients and with clinical leadership at the fore.

“If we are to succeed in improving the health service, we must also improve the public health of the nation. We must promote good health, stronger locally-owned public health strategies and effective screening and prevention of disease.

“We will create a more integrated public health service at the heart of healthcare policy. To improve health and well-being, we must offer support, security and services to those in need of personal and social care.

“There is much to do. If I have learnt one thing over six-and-a-half years as Shadow Health Secretary, it is that in the NHS we have an immense number of talented, committed and capable people, who want to be trusted to get on with the job. It will be my task to enable the NHS to do this; with our shared ambition to achieve the best healthcare service anywhere in the world.”

The new Ministerial team at the Department of Health will be announced shortly.


Mr Lansley was educated at Brentwood School, Essex and the University of Exeter, where he was President of the Guild for Students. He began his own career as a civil servant, working at the Department of Trade & Industry.

In 1992 Mr Lansley was awarded a CBE for running the Conservative campaign for the 1992 General Election. In 1997 he was elected MP for South Cambridgeshire, and joined the Shadow Cabinet as Health Secretary in 2003.

Mr Lansley lives in South Cambridgeshire with his wife and their two children, he also has three children from his first marriage.

Notes to editors

For further information please contact the Department of Health news desk on 020 7210 5221.


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