I am the Member of Parliament for the Totnes Constituency which stretches from Bantham to Broadsands along the beautiful South Devon coast and north to Dartmeet on Dartmoor.
I have lived in South Devon for twenty-seven years and was privileged to work on the frontline of the NHS for twenty-four years before entering Parliament in 2010. I also spent several years as a police forensic examiner for Devon and Cornwall Police – mostly seeing victims of sexual or domestic violence. For eleven years I worked as a GP on Dartmoor and taught junior doctors and medical students as well as examining for the Royal College of General Practitioners.
I was originally selected as the Conservative candidate in Totnes after the country's first ever fully open postal primary – which allowed every voter in the constituency, regardless of their political affiliation, to choose the candidate– and I was first elected as the MP for the Totnes Constituency in 2010. After very careful thought I feel I can best represent this constituency as a Liberal Democrat and have set out my reasons for this in an open letter.
I wanted to bring a love of South Devon and some real-world experience to Parliament and speak out on the issues that face our coastal and rural communities. I was delighted to be named Spectator backbencher of the year in 2014 and again by the Political Studies Association in 2015.
In 2014 I was elected by MPs from across both sides of the House of Commons to Chair the Health and Social Care Select Committee. This is a cross-party committee which holds the Government and the myriad of health bodies to account and makes recommendations about policy. I was re-elected to this role in 2015 and 2017 and have chaired many influential inquiries and hearings focusing on issues such as Children's and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS), End of Life Care, Primary Care, Childhood Obesity, preventing suicide and the nursing workforce. I continue to campaign on social care, health funding, primary care, local health services and on public health.
In 2017 I was also elected to Chair the Liaison Committee, of all select committee chairs which is the committee that calls the Prime Minister to give evidence.
Away from politics, I like to find time for running or keeping up with my husband Adrian on the back of a tandem, anywhere between the Moor and the Sea.
Thank you for your support.