Matt Hancock has given his first speech after returning to his role as health secretary.

In the speech at Policy Exchange Westminster, Hancock said new grants pledged to nurses of between £5,000 and £8,000 would “play a key part in the government’s promise of having more nurses in place within five years”.

Hancock said the government would deliver on this pledge and each and every commitment in its manifesto.

Hancock said the bursary introduction would be just one part of a wider change within the NHS based on prevention of health problems; an improved working culture, more use of technology and investment in infrastructure.

He added: “I am absolutely determined to meet the commitments that we have made, and to make sure that we repay the trust that has been put in us by delivering on the promises that we’ve made and the commitments that we have to this nation’s most-loved institution.”

However, the health secretary has faced some criticism after he denied the government is being forced to clear up its own mistakes since the Conservative government were responsible for abolishing nursing bursaries in 2016.

Shadow health secretary, John Ashworth, said: “The Conservatives’ policy of forcing would-be nurses to pay tuition fees has demonstrably failed in the last two years.”

He added: “While it is good to see that they have U-turned on their terrible policy position, nurses have called for additional funding to cover tuition fees too, not just living costs as the Tories promised in their manifesto.”