New Health Secretary: 'I really love the NHS'

Hancock's sister was in a coma after a riding accident in 2017

Hancock's sister was in a coma after a riding accident in 2017

Friday, July 20, 2018

The new Health and Social Care Secretary has spoken openly about his love for the NHS, which saved his sister's life after a horse riding accident.

In his first speech since being appointed to the role, Matt Hancock said his commitment to the health service was not just professional but "deeply personal", after it helped his family through the emotional time.

Speaking publicly about his sister's accident for the first time, Mr Hancock said: "I have never had a moment where somebody so close has been at a risk of dying."

Professional rider Emily Gilruth, 41, was in a coma for four days after she fell and hit her head while competing at Badminton Horse Trials in May last year, at the same time her brother was campaigning for his seat in the general election.

Mr Hancock said: "I have always valued the NHS but it was really brought home to me last year when the NHS was there for us at one of our toughest moments as a family.

"Last summer my sister sustained a very severe head injury, it was touch and go, and her life was saved by the intensive care unit at Bristol's
Southmead Hospital, where she stayed for a week, most of it in a coma.

"Thanks to their care she has now recovered."

He added: "I love my sister and the NHS saved her life, so when I say I love the NHS, I really mean it.

"My commitment to the health service and the fundamental principles that underpin it is not just professional, it is deeply personal."