New Health Secretary appointed

Rishi Sunak has appointed Victoria Atkins as the new Health Secretary, replacing Steve Barclay 

 Photograph shows the street sign of 10 Downing Street, home of the UK Prime Minister
Getty/Thinkstock Images 

Victoria Atkins has been appointed as the new Health Secretary as part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle.

Atkins, previously the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, takes over the role from Steve Barclay.

She will take on responsibility for the NHS at a time when waiting lists and staff dissatisfaction are presenting the Department of Health and Social Care with significant challenges.

Cutting NHS waiting lists is one of Rishi Sunak’s five key pledges.

However, in October, analysis for the Health Foundation predicted that waiting lists will reach eight million by summer 2024.

Barclay, who had been Health Secretary since October 2022, moves to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The appointment of Atkins came amongst a reshuffle that included the sacking of Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and the return of former Prime Minister, David Cameron, to frontline politics in the role of Foreign Secretary.