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First Minister strengthens Ministerial health team

First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford. Credit: Welsh Government

First Minister Mark Drakeford has further strengthened the Welsh Government’s response to coronavirus by realigning key Ministerial portfolios.

Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething will focus solely on Wales’ twin priorities of responding to coronavirus and NHS performance and delivery.

And as cases of coronavirus increase across Wales, Eluned Morgan will take on a new role as Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and the Welsh Language, acknowledging the longer-term impact on the virus on people’s mental health and wellbeing.

She will assume Ministerial responsibility for mental health services, dementia, autism, substance misuse, veterans’ health, patient experience and the obesity strategy, working alongside Vaughan Gething.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“We have learned a lot from the first wave of coronavirus and the way both we and public services have responded to the virus. Once again, we are facing rising cases across the country and a difficult few months ahead.

“Vaughan has done an amazing job leading our health service’s response to the pandemic and will continue to take day-to-day charge of that response. The changes I am making to my Cabinet team will mean he can focus all his time and effort on coronavirus and ensuring our NHS is able to treat people with the virus as well as respond to the population’s wider health needs.

“Eluned has a strong track record in government and will bring all that experience to safeguarding and promoting the wider wellbeing of people in Wales.”

Julie Morgan will continue in her role as Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services.

The international relations brief, including the Wales and Africa programme, will form part of the First Minister’s portfolio of responsibilities.