Ms Kennedy – who has been MP for South Ribble, Lancashire, since 2015 – was confirmed as the new public health and primary care minister yesterday (April 4).
She has also been parliamentary private secretary to Theresa May since June 2017.
She replaces pharmacy minister Mr Brine, who resigned from the government last week (March 25) to vote against Theresa May over Brexit.
Mr Brine was one of three Conservative MPs to resign – including former pharmacy minister Alistair Burt – to vote against the government's EU withdrawal deal strategy.
In his resignation letter, Mr Brine paid tribute to the “highly competent and professional team at the Department of Health and Social Care (DH), led by our outstanding secretary of state Matt Hancock, who have done everything they can to ensure medicines and medical supplies will be protected for patients whatever form our exit from the EU takes”.
PSNC: Building on the collaborative relationship
Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee chief executive Simon Dukes said: “We look forward to meeting [Ms Kennedy] at the earliest opportunity and to building on the collaborative working relationship we have established with the DH.
“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,” he added.
RPS: Build on Brine's commitment
Royal Pharmaceutical Society English board chair 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.
“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.”
The Twitter reaction
Huge welcome to our new public health minister @SeemaKennedy – a vital agenda & she’ll be a brilliant part of our DHSC team— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) 4 April 2019
Who is Seema Kennedy the new Pharmacy Minister? https://t.co/Uoq6ZJj2JF— Mike Hewitson (@MikeHewitson1) 5 April 2019
Congratulations @SeemaKennedy on your appointment as Public Health Minister at @DHSCgovuk— Kevin Barron MP (@KevinBarronMP) 5 April 2019
Look forward to working with you on a number of issues, in particular community pharmacy and the funding of smoking cessation services.
@SeemaKennedy Congratulations and good luck in your new post as Pharmacy Minister. We look forward to meeting with you and discussing how our members and pharmacy in general can help the NHS to deliver better care and outcomes for patients.— The PDA (@the_pda) 5 April 2019
@SeemaKennedy Congratulations on picking up Pharmacy in your portfolio. East Lancashire Hospitals is just along the road from you; if you'd like to visit, get in touch. We have innovated transformational services here #DedicatedWardPharmacy and @ReferToPharmacy - Google for info— ReferToPharmacy (@ReferToPharmacy) 5 April 2019