I have lived in South Devon with my family for twenty-three years.
I 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 MP in 2010 and then subsequently retained my seat in 2015.
I want 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 backbencher of the year in 2014 and Parliamentarian of the year in 2015.
In 2014 I was first elected by MPs from across both sides of the House of Commons to Chair the Health Select Committee and I was then re-elected to this position after the 2015 general election. This is a cross-party committee which holds the Government and the myriad of health bodies to account and makes recommendations about policy. During the last parliament the Health Committee published a number of influential reports on areas such as Children's and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS), End of Life Care and the issues for individuals and the NHS of Long Term Conditions and we are now working on many more.
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.