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January Update: Health and Pharmaceuticals

3 January 2018

A new year brings politicians back to Westminster to confront an array of perplexing policy challenges.

With almost half the Article 50 trigger period now elapsed, Brexit negotiations are entering the critical second phase, with the Government eager to secure the details of the official transition period and future relationship beyond.

Meanwhile, ministers are due a reshuffle brought about after the forced resignation of Damian Green, and Labour continues to press the Prime Minister on public services and cost of living questions.

Here, Daniel Shaw-Stewart, DeHavilland's Monitoring Consultant for Health and Pharmaceuticals policy, gives you the lowdown on what to watch out for this January.

What's on the agenda this month

by Daniel Shaw-Stewart, Monitoring Consultant

The New Year has begun with a chorus of health officials urging the public not to attend Accident & Emergency units unless absolutely necessary. The calls come amidst further budgetary and seasonal pressures on the NHS, with the Chancellor recently committing an additional £335m to boost the NHS over the winter.

Meanwhile, the start of 2018 has also seen increasing speculation that the current Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt may be moved out of the Department of Health and moved to the Cabinet Office in a possible forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle. It would see the Health Secretary leave his post after five turbulent years. Candidates to replace him have been discussed in the media, with Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton and Youth Justice, Victims, Female Offenders and Offender Health Phillip Lee both identified as possible picks.

The Health Select Committee has a number of outstanding inquires to continue with into 2018. The inquiry into the Green Paper on children and young people’s mental health looks set to be a priority for the committee.

In addition, there continues to be an open inquiry into the impact of Brexit on medicines, medical devices and substances of human origin. The outcome of this inquiry looks likely to inform the legislative debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill as it passes through the Commons and later through the Lords.

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Daniel Shaw-Stewart, Monitoring Consultant
Daniel Shaw-Stewart
Monitoring Consultant

Daniel serves as Monitoring Consultant for DeHavilland's UK Health clients. He has previously worked at MHP Communications in its Corporate Affairs Team, and at the BBC during the 2015 General Election as a Production Assistant. He read History and Politics at Goldsmiths, University of London.