The Minister of State for Care and Mental Health is a mid-level position in the Department of Health and Social Care in the British government.
It is currently held by Gillian Keegan MP who took the office on 16 September 2021. The minister often deputises for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care alongside the Minister of State for Health. The minister is in charge of social care in England.
The position was created in 2006, with Ivan Lewis being made Minister of State for Care Services.
After the Conservative victory in the 2015 United Kingdom general election Alistair Burt returned to Government as Minister of State for Care and Support in the Department of Health. In July 2016, Burt announced that he would be resigning from his Ministerial position, “Twenty-four years and one month ago, I answered my first question as a junior minister in oral questions and I’ve just completed my last oral questions,” Burt said. It was made clear that his resignation was not related to Brexit.
The position was given to David Mowat and renamed as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care and Support. David Mowat lost his Warrington South seat in the snap 2017 general election. He was not replaced until 2018 when Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Caroline Dinenage as the new Minister of Care. Dinenage stayed in her role when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister and served in the First Johnson ministry and into the Second Johnson ministry.
As part of the 2020 British cabinet reshuffle, a number of junior ministers were moved around. Dinenage was made the new Minister of State for Digital and Culture. Helen Whately was her replacement. Helen Whatley has been in charge of government response to social care during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, particularly in reference to vaccination deployment.
On World Mental Health Day 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May appointed Jackie Doyle-Price as the UK’s first suicide prevention minister. This occurred while the UK government hosted the first ever global mental health summit. In July 2019, Backbench MP and former nurse Nadine Dorries was appointed as Minister of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety by the incoming Johnson ministry. In March 2020, the Department of Health revealed that Dorries had tested positive for COVID-19. She has since recovered. As minister, Dorries has been in charge of mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom. In October 2020, the minister addressed mental health concerns around the suicide risks of women with Anorexia. In January 2021, the minister told Parliament the government’s response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review. In February 2021, the minister committed to an increase in government spending on mental health as a result of the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gillian Keegan became the new minister, holding a combined portfolio of care and mental health, at the 2021 British cabinet reshuffle.
The Minister of State for Care and Mental Health leads on the following:
- Adult social care.
- Health and care integration.
- Dementia, disabilities and long-term conditions.
- NHS Continuing Healthcare.
- Mental health.
- Suicide prevention and crisis prevention.
- Offender health.
- Vulnerable groups.
- Women’s health strategy.
Social Care Ministers
- Minister of State for Care Services: 15 May 2006 to 04 September 2012.
- Minister of State for Care and Support: 04 September 2012 to 08 May 2015.
- Minister of State for Community and Social Care: 11 may 2015 to 15 July 2016.
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Care and Support: 14 July 2016 to 09 June 2017.
- Minister of State for Social Care: 09 January 2018 to 16 September 2021.
Mental Health Ministers
- Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety: 14 June 2017 to 11 May 2020.
- Minister of State for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety: 11 May 2020 to 15 September 2021.
Minister of State for Care and Mental Health
- Minister of State for Care and Mental Health: 16 September 2021 to Present.
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