Ministerial role

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation


Responsibilities for the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation include:

  • health protection, including: emergency preparedness, immunisation and infectious diseases
  • health Improvement, including: tobacco, alcohol, obesity, physical activity, drugs, addiction to medicines
  • diabetes
  • children’s health and school nursing
  • sexual health
  • abortion
  • mental health services
  • homelessness
  • prison health services
  • data and technology
  • cyber security
  • research and development
  • fertility and embryology
  • life sciences innovation
  • genomics
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • global health security

Ministerial lead for:

  • Public Health England
  • NHS Digital
  • Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Current role holder: Nicola Blackwood MP

Nicola Blackwood was appointed as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health on 17 July 2016. She was elected as the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon in May 2010.


Nicola was educated at Trinity College of Music, St Anne’s College, Oxford, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Political career

From June 2015 to July 2016, Nicola was Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee. Before the 2015 general election, Nicola was Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister for Energy and Enterprise from 2013 to 2015 and a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee from 2010 to 2015. She was also previously Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party from 2010 to 2013.

Before becoming an MP Nicola worked for Andrew Mitchell MP, then Shadow International Development Secretary. Nicola continues this work as Co-Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Women Peace and Security and as a member of the Department for International Development’s Gender Advisory Group.

Career outside politics

Nicola is a trustee of a special school academy near her home and the patron of several charities. She is known for her national campaign against child sexual exploitation, Childhood Lost, which is backed by the NSPCC, Children’s Society, Barnardo’s and Save the Children, and has resulted in amendment of child protection legislation to enable the police to better protect victims of sexual abuse.

Personal life

Nicola was born in Johannesburg in 1979. She now lives in Summertown.


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