RSPH has welcomed Matt Hancock MP to his new position as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Appointed on 9 July 2018, he succeeds the long-serving Jeremy Hunt MP in the role.

Matt Hancock has served as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) since January 2018. He is the MP for West Suffolk, first elected in the 2010 general election, and has served in a number of ministerial roles since 2012, including as Minister of State for Digital from July 2016 to January 2018. 

Although his background has not been in the health sector, the new Health Secretary has been vocal in his support for promoting the mental health and wellbeing of young people, particularly in the face of the challenges posed by social media – an issue RSPH has campaigned prominently on since the launch of its #StatusOfMind report in 2017.

In his time as Secretary of State at DCMS, Matt Hancock has advocated for new online safety laws to be created to protect young people and has insisted that companies need to take more responsibility for the wellbeing of users. It is hoped that he will take this interest, as well as his support for the positive and innovative use of technology, into his new role.

Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive, RSPH, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Matt Hancock on his appointment as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and we look forward to engaging and working with him over the coming months and years. 

“It is of course a crucial time for our NHS, which, 70 years after its conception, is stretched to the limit and struggling to cope with rising demand. However, we hope the new Secretary of State will recognise the vital role of public health in lowering the burden of chronic diseases on the health service, and will ensure investment in prevention matches the rhetoric.”