Health secretary vows to improve care of elderly but offers no timetable for funding reforms

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 10 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6853
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The new health secretary for England, Jeremy Hunt, has said that his aspiration for the NHS is improving the care of elderly people.

In his first major speech as health secretary since the cabinet reshuffle in September,1 Hunt told the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on 9 October, “This year for the first time there are more pensioners than children. So, looking to the future, our biggest priority must be to transform what we offer to meet the challenge of an ageing population. Fail to address this, and our healthcare system will not be sustainable for them—or indeed for any of us.”

Hunt vowed to press ahead with the reorganisation of the NHS introduced by his predecessor, Andrew Lansley, saying that the changes “are brave, they are right, and they will make our NHS stronger.”

He added, “If Andrew is the health secretary who helped give us the structures for a modern NHS, I …

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