Seema Kennedy MP was appointed as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care this week. As part of her new brief Ms Kennedy now has responsibility for pharmacy.
This appointment comes after the recent resignation of the previous minister with responsibility for pharmacy Steve Brine MP.
Ms Kennedy was born and grew up in and around Blackburn. After a time working in London as a solicitor, she joined the family business which owns commercial properties in Preston.
She has been the MP for South Ribble since 2015 and has campaigned for better local infrastructure and small businesses. From 2015, Seema became co-chair of a cross-party Loneliness Commission along with Jo Cox MP. Following Jo’s murder in 2016, this work was taken forward by Seema and her new co-chair Rachel Reeves MP to form the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission.
In 2017, she became the Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Prime Minister. She is the first female PPS to a Conservative Prime Minister.
PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes said:
“PSNC would like to congratulate the new Minister on her role; we look forward to meeting her at the earliest opportunity and to building on the collaborative working relationship we have established with the Department. We will ensure that Ms Kennedy is briefed on the value of community pharmacy and we hope to work with her to ensure that the full potential of community pharmacies is realised.”
Commenting on the appointment, Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board Sandra Gidley said:
“We look forward to meeting the new minister and continuing to engage constructively with the Government on how pharmacists’ expertise will be central to achieving the ambitions of the NHS Long-Term Plan. The public deserves to benefit from making better use of pharmacists’ skills.
“I hope the minister will build on her predecessor’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of pharmacy staff, as we ask them to play an increased role in supporting the nation’s health.”