Last reviewed 21 September 2021

A new care minister, Gillian Keegan, has been appointed to replace Helen Whately, who will take up a Treasury post in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle.

The former Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan was appointed as a junior minister at the Department for Education in February 2020.

She will now lead in the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on adult social care; workforce; health and care integration; dementia, disabilities and long-term conditions; and NHS Continuing Healthcare and abortion. On Covid-19, she will lead social care resilience, the NHS workforce and test and trace.

Speaking of her appointment, Gillian Keegan tweeted: “I am honoured to have been asked by @BorisJohnson to join the @DHSCgovuk. There are significant challenges ahead and I am looking forward to working closely with @sajidjavid and the team to get stuck in.”

She is the Conservative MP for Chichester and has been an MP continuously since 8 June 2017.

She grew up in Liverpool and left school at 16 years old with 10 GCSEs. She worked as an apprentice in a car factory in Kirkby, where she was employed for seven years on what would be described today as a degree apprenticeship, working and taking evening classes to get a Business Studies degree at Liverpool John Moores University. She subsequently worked for 27 years in international business.

Her predecessor Helen Whately held the post of Care Minister from February 2020 and worked for the DHSC during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic. She commented on this moment in the post: “It took us a while to be able to get to where we are today where we are able to supply the whole of the social care sector with the PPE that it needs. People wanted more tests, it took us a while as a country to build up our testing capacity.”