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Chair nominations open for Health and Social Care Committee

27 October 2022

Nominations are now open for the position of Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, following the appointment of Jeremy Hunt MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer on 14 October 2022.

Nominations opened on Monday 17 October and will close at noon on Tuesday 1 November. The new Chair will be elected from the Conservative party.

On this page you can find the list of nominees with any accompanying statements as they come in.

Steve Brine MP

Member of Parliament for Winchester 

Nominated by (own party)

Tim Loughton, Derek Thomas, Alan Mak, Sir Robert Syms, Nick Gibb, Dr Dan Poulter, Peter Aldous, Amanda Milling, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger, Royston Smith, Peter Gibson, Theresa Villiers, Caroline Nokes, Miriam Cates, Simon Fell

Nominated by (other parties)

Julie Elliott, Jim Shannon, Valerie Vaz, Munira Wilson.

Relevant interests declared

Steve Brine has not declared any relevant interests.

Candidate statement 

We’re all known for one thing during our time in Parliament. For me, it’s health and I think I have a strong record on the subject - in Government and on the backbenches - working collegiately and respectfully with MPs from every party. 

After more than 12 years in the House - during which time I’ve served as PPS to the Health Secretary, a Government Whip and of course Public Health Minister - I’m putting my name forward to chair the important Health & Social Care Select Committee. 

Whatever side of the House we occupy, I think Thérèse Coffey was right to diagnose her ABCD of problems to address. 

Ambulance care, in some areas of the country, is clearly falling way short. The Covid backlog is seriously impacting peoples’ quality of life (keeping some out of the workforce when we need them most) while the social care conundrum continues to gum up the entire system. Too many promises on this, from all parties, have failed to materialise so we need to come together. 

And we all have too much casework from constituents unable to access a GP when they need one - let alone a dentist – but I would add M for mental health to that list where, right now, we’re failing young people in particular. Ministers must deliver on all of this and the Select Committee under my leadership will be a powerful force in driving delivery from whichever team sits at DHSC or within NHSE. 

Bottom line; we have the 5th largest spending on health in the OECD, but we don’t end up 5th in terms of results. We need to understand why and press Ministers to get better value for the vast sums we spend on health. 

Sure, I have my own priorities in this policy area … 

Prevention: I remain passionate about preventative healthcare which I believe is absolutely the right approach to the NHS and leads us to many of the issues around health inequalities which concern us all. 

Cancer: we should all be worried about the figures (post lockdown in particular) and be pressing for the promised cancer plan to emerge as soon as possible. For many reasons, this agenda matters to me more than most. 

Workforce: the Achilles heel of the service for so long, we need to work with the Treasury to finally deliver that independent health workforce assessment because none of the above works without one. 

… but a good Select Committee chair works cross-party with his/her committee members scrutinising the Ministers on their plans as much as it sets the agenda. I will not forget that. 

I have served in government as a health minister but, crucially, have now been out of the department for a few years since. During Covid I worked closely with Ministers and Opposition providing robust scrutiny from the backbenches when question and challenge of health ministers were more important than ever. 

I hope I can bring experience, credibility, and strength to the role of Health & Social Care Select Committee Chair.  

Stephen Hammond MP

Member of Parliament for Wimbledon

Nominated by (own party)

Karen Bradley, Greg Clark, Sir Robert Buckland, Sir Jeremy Wright, Sir Robert Neill, Damian Green, Alicia Kearns, Robert Largan, John Penrose, Paul Holmes, Sara Britcliffe, Huw Merriman, John Howell, Sally-Ann Hart, Gareth Bacon 

Nominated by (other parties or no party) 

Siobhain McDonagh, Sarah Olney, Fleur Anderson, Stephen Kinnock, Peter Dowd 

Relevant interests declared

I am an advisor to Darwin Investment and a Non Exec Director of Optibiotix.

Candidate statement

I promise to be an independent and fair Chair and I am committed to holding the DHSC to account to ensure we deliver the best healthcare outcomes for our constituents. The role of the Select Committee is to investigate and scrutinise the Department. But the job is much more than criticism, it is to help formulate policy and solutions.   

Should I be successful I intend to open inquiries into primary care provision and health inequalities. These two areas are holding back our health service from delivering the best quality of care possible and I want to ensure that the Department tackles these challenges.    

Social Care and the differing levels of provision based on location and providers mean that the quality of care is often too variable. I will ensure rigorous scrutiny of the plans to reduce the backlog and ambulance waiting times. We all want to see a clear plan from Government, but it must be realistic and deliverable.   

I am committed to the delivery of a sustainable Workforce Plan which supports NHS professionals and focuses on retention, not just recruitment.   

We must preserve and enhance our world leading life sciences status by ensuring DHSC has a vision for the UK Life Sciences Eco System.    

We need to ensure that we make wearable tech an asset to our health service whilst protecting people’s privacy. There is clamour for data to be the answer to all our problems, we must be clear that whilst it will help, we need to build the workforce and the resources available as well. 

Dr Caroline Johnson MP

Member of Parliament for Sleaford and North Hykeham

Nominated by (own party)

Rachel Maclean, Mr Robin Walker, Cherilyn Mackrory, Mrs Helen Grant, James Sunderland, Kit Malthouse, Elliot Colburn, Jason McCartney, Dr Luke Evans, Jane Stevenson, Greg Smith, Sir John Hayes, Alec Shelbrooke, Robbie Moore, Jamie Wallis  

Nominated by (other parties or no party) 

Rosie Duffield, Jamie Stone, Gavin Robinson 

Relevant interests declared

NHS Consultant Paediatrician; BMA Member; RCPCH Member; Medical Defence Union Member 

Candidate statement

Having attended over a thousand deliveries, cared for countless babies and treated many sick children, I truly understand that our Health and Social Care services support us at our most vulnerable. Health for me isn’t just a favourite talking point in politics, but a life-long vocation. I am an NHS Consultant Paediatrician and have also worked as a junior doctor, a volunteer covid vaccinator, ward hostess (helping with meals and changing beds) and a doctor’s receptionist, gaining a holistic understanding of the inner workings of the NHS. 

The reason I trained to be a doctor and put my name forward for Parliament are the same; I am passionate about helping other people. I have a clear set of values. I am compassionate, I am committed and I am credible.  

Since arriving in Parliament I have used my expertise in health; I sat as a member of the Health and Social Care Committee, Co-Chaired an APPG for Children Who Need Palliative Care where we achieved £25m in children’s hospice grants, campaigned on the shortage of NHS dentists and helped secure the use of Brineura for children with Batten disease. I also contributed to policy as a DHSC Minister (briefly!). 

At a time when the NHS and care system continues to face extreme pressure, the Committee must have a strong and experienced Chair to continue the effective scrutiny of both the diagnosis of challenges and the delivery of solutions. I am running for Chair as I have the necessary experience to get on with the job and ensure the Committee continues to make a tangible difference. Experience and compassion are crucial for a Committee that will hear of deeply disturbing situations, such as that described in the East Kent maternity report, or the Panorama programme about care at Edenfield. 

By reaching out to colleagues and seeking to understand the topics of interest to others, I will direct the work of this influential Committee, such that colleagues across the House have the opportunity to offer fair challenge in order to hold the government to account and improve services across the country. 

As an NHS doctor, I know that our systems and processes are not as efficient as they could be. I am also honest and unapologetic in discussing the challenges we face. I support the ‘ABCDD’ priorities in highlighting the key areas of focus but categorising our problems doesn’t solve them, nor does it give a complete picture of the recruitment and retention challenges, or recognise key concerns such as the increase in preventable ill health, health disparities and mental health diagnoses. Under my Chairmanship the Committee will maintain a laser focus on health outcomes. We must work together as parliamentarians across the House to act as critical friends of the government, in the best interests of our constituents. Criticality means more than monitoring progress towards promised goals but also ensuring that said goals are ambitious and progressive to begin with. 

Anne Marie Morris MP

Member of Parliament for Newton Abbot

Nominated by (own party)

Anthony Mangnall, Sir Edward Leigh, Lee Anderson, Harriett Baldwin, Henry Smith, Bim Afolami, Jack Lopresti, Sir Gary Streeter, Richard Drax, Mr John Baron, Andrew Bridgen, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, James Gray, Danny Kruger, Mr David Jones.

Nominated by (other parties)

Mr David Lammy, Ian Mearns, Dame Meg Hillier.

Relevant interests declared

Anne Marie Morris has not declared any relevant interests.

Candidate statement

We find ourselves in challenging times and uncharted territory. Challenging because our ability to deliver a world-class health and care system needs to be achieved in the context of difficult economic times where getting the maximum value from every pound spent is more essential than ever. And uncharted territory because the challenges need to be met in a post COVID environment where the resilience of the NHS has been tested as never before, where waiting lists for essential services have increased and where our health and care services are stretched taut. 

Building on the recent work by the Committee I believe that the approach going forward must be as an honest and critical friend of Government to ensure it maintains progress on past promises to: 

  • resolve post pandemic backlogs 
  • develop a robust and deliverable workforce plan 
  • integrate health and care, meeting different rural and urban needs, and 
  • resolve GP and dentistry shortages 

But there are unresolved strategic issues that also need examination, in particular: 

  • creating and sustaining genuine and measurable parity of esteem for mental health with physical care 
  • developing a whole-system prevention strategy encompassing diagnostics, vaccinations and education 
  • ensuring the availability of resources and skills that strengthen safe maternity care to eradicate avoidable deaths, and 
  • delivering equitable access across the country to innovative medicines and medical devices 

With 17 years political experience in health and care, I have the breadth of knowledge needed to provide effective leadership of the Committee and to be able to ‘join the dots’ amongst and between interconnected and complex issues. I have a strong network within the NHS, local government, ICPs and ICBs, regulators, patient groups, royal colleges, industry and research institutions, which will help deepen the vital connections between these stakeholders and the Committee.  

In Parliament, I have established two health-related APPGs, one on Rural Health and Social Care and one on Access to Medicines and Medical Devices. Both have produced groundbreaking reports, one an international first. I have served on the Health Select Committee and the Public Accounts Committee (as lead on most health and care related inquiries). As Chair of Health Overview and Scrutiny at West Sussex County Council, I know what really happens at the local level and the challenges of implementing ever changing structures of primary, secondary and tertiary care. 

This committee needs to identify through its inquiries how to build on the NHS’s success. But it also needs to get under the skin of what is not working and establish why it’s not.  It needs to drive innovative thinking in the NHS, local government, ministers and civil servants through its questioning. It needs to be focused on finding solutions, not just listing problems. A good select committee chair will lead constructive challenge, be driven by facts and evidence, as I have done in the past on so many occasions. Patients and health and care professionals want us to drive the changes they need and deserve. With your support – I will do that. 

James Morris MP

Member of Parliament for Halesowen and Rowley Regis

Nominated by (own party)

Gary Sambrook, Nicola Richards, Kevin Hollinrake, Mr William Wragg, Shailesh Vara, Philip Davies, Chris Green, Iain Stewart, Shaun Bailey, Sir Robert Goodwill, Tom Randall, David Rutley, Edward Timpson, Flick Drummond, Eddie Hughes 

Nominated by (other parties or no party) 

Khalid Mahmood, Mr Kevan Jones, Christine Jardine, John Spellar 

Interests declared


Candidate statement

Since I was elected in 2010 health and social care has been one of my personal and policy passions.   

I served as the Chairman of the APPG for mental health in the 2010-2015 Parliament. Working on a cross party basis I campaigned to drive mental health up the policy agenda, arguing for more funding for mental health services to achieve ‘parity pf esteem’ between mental and physical health. I also advocated for the reform of the Mental Health Act which urgently needs up updating. I led and contributed to debates in Parliament on all these issues.   

I was a Minister for Primary Care and Patient Safety for a short period earlier this year.  I know from experience the difficult challenges our health and social care system faces as we recover from Covid and face a difficult winter.  I know that many of our constituents are worried about being able to get a GP appointment or access to an NHS dentist. 

There are three policy areas which are a top priority for me:  

Social Care: We need to ensure that our social care system is properly funded and reformed.  I would want the Committee to use its influence to hold the government to account for its promises on social care 

Mental Health: Despite some progress the push to ensure we have good quality and accessible mental health services has stalled.  We are still some distance from achieving the ‘parity’ which I have long campaigned for. The Committee, under my Chairmanship, would review and make recommendations to make sure that improving mental health is a top priority. 

Prevention and Early Intervention:  Most people agree that prevention and early intervention is critical to improving health outcomes from preventing cancer to helping with depression. Shifting the health system to focus on prevention, however, continues to be a challenge.  Under my Chairmanship I would want the Committee to focus on making recommendations on how we can make prevention central to health policy. 

Further information

Image credit: PA