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-five 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 spurred into politics after hearing David Cameron's invitation to those with non-political backgrounds to bring their practical experience to Westminster. I was 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.
I wanted to bring a love of South Devon to the green benches and make Government look beyond metropolitan areas to 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 2015 and in 2017 I was re-elected by MPs from across both sides of the House of Commons to Chair the Health 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. During my time as chair the Health Committee has published a number of influential reports on areas such as Children's and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS), End of Life Care, Primary Care, Childhood Obesity and other important public health and mental health issues including preventing suicide. I have campaigned on social care, health funding, primary care, local health services and on public health.
In 2017 I was elected Chair of the Liaison Committee.
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.