WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine has been promoted to become Minister at the Department of Health in the post-election reshuffle, it was announced today.

He will join Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt in one of the busiest and most high profile departments in Whitehall.

in a statement this evening, Mr Brine said: “Health has always been a great interest for me, both locally and in terms of national policy. I am really looking forward to working as part of the team at Richmond House to ensure we build a health and social care system that is among the safest and highest-quality anywhere in the world.

“We’ve big ambitions around mental health provision and securing greater access to GPs which we can only deliver if we keep a strong economy that provides the resources our NHS needs.

"This new role is a tremendous opportunity to work in an area I am passionate about and to ensure the voice of Winchester and Chandler’s Ford is heard at the heart of Government.”

The future of the NHS provision in Hampshire is currently uncertain with plans for the a new emergency treatment centre between Winchester and Basingstoke currently under review.

Senior doctors say the new centre is vital because there is insufficient staff to have two top-quality emergency care centres at Basingstoke and Winchester.

Many people are concerned it could the start of the Royal Hampshire County Hospital being downgraded.

Mr Brine was a Government Whip in the previous Parliament working at the Department for Work and Pensions and the Northern Ireland Office.

Coincidentally the last Conservative MP for Winchester, Gerry Malone was also a health minister in the 1990s.