Ben BradshawThe Department of Health has announced that Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, will be the new minister responsible for the National Programme for IT.

Bradshaw replaces Lord Hunt, as minister of state for health services.

Lord Hunt replaced Lord Warner as the minister responsible for NHS IT and Connecting For Health in January after returning from a previous spell in charge of the programme in 2003.

Bradshaw joined the DH last month, having previously worked in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Under Tony Blair, he was minister for local environment, marine and animal welfare at Defra. Prior to that, he was the nature conservation and fisheries minister.

He has also worked as a parliamentary secretary at the Privy Council Office and a parliamentary under-secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Before becoming an MP in1997, he worked as a journalist, training on the Express & Echo in Exeter before working for BBC Radio Devon and going on to be the BBC’s Berlin correspondent.

He will also be responsible for finance issues, the 18 week patient pathways, and emergency care amongst other issues.

The new ministerial line-up has only one familiar face. Ivan Lewis remains as parliamentary under secretary for care services.

Lord Ara Darzi, is the new parliamentary under secretary of state, responsible for overseeing the NHS Next Stage Review. He holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London and is an honorary consultant at St Mary’s Hospital and the Royal Marsden and was knighted by the Queen for his service to medicine and surgery in December 2002. He was made a Lord yesterday.

Ann Keen, MP for Brentford and Isleworth, becomes parliamentary under secretary for health services, moving from the treasury. Keen has a background in nursing, both as a nurse tutor and a district nurse. She was the general secretary of the Community and District Nursing Association (CDNA), and a member of the Health Select Committee. She takes responsibility for healthcare quality, dentistry, long term conditions, workforce and maternity amongst other responsibilities.

Dawn Primarolo, MP for Bristol South, also moves from the Treasury to become minister of state for public health. Primarolo has been an MP since 1987 and was a health spokesperson for the Labour party between 1992 and 1994, when it was in opposition. She will now be responsible for all issues connected with public health, as well as overseeing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.