A year in review – this what Anne Marie Morris MP has been up to in 2018

ANNE MARIE MORRIS IS THE CONSERVATIVE MP FOR NEWTON ABBOT AND HAS BEEN SINCE 2010

Back in 2016, I founded the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Rural Health and Social Care. This a cross-party group that looks at the current challenges facing health and social care provision in rural communities, such as our own area here in Devon. The group works towards developing evidence-based policy recommendations for the government on the rural health, both mental and physical, and social care in England.

In October, we launched a two year inquiry, in partnership with the new National Centre for Rural Health and Care, to develop tangible recommendations from patients and practitioners in order improve the provision of health and social care in our rural communities.

Over my time in Parliament, I have met with a number of constituents suffering from different rare diseases who have suffered unnecessarily because of incorrect diagnoses and treatments for them not being reimbursed by NICE. This has led to me getting involved with some of the access to treatment issues facing patients as well as the access to market issues facing the life sciences sector.

Anne Marie Morris MP
Anne Marie Morris MP

Interest in these issues naturally led to wanting to learn more about the life sciences sector and the opportunities and challenges that it faces. Earlier this year, I set up the APPG on Access to Medicines and Medical Devices. The APPG held its first event at the beginning of December, bringing together stakeholders to discuss how investment in the UK life sciences industry can be incentivised, therefore bringing skilled jobs to the economy and ground-breaking treatments to the NHS.

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This year, I bought forward a Private Members’ Bill to regulate Physician Associates. Physician Associates are currently unregulated, therefore regulation via legislation is necessary to strengthen provision and ensure better patient safety. It is vital that patients, employers and other health professional are assured that those providing care can practice safely within appropriate professional standards.

2018 has seen myself and a number of colleagues continue to campaign for fairer funding for our schools here in Devon. It is crucial that we continue to lobby for a changed funding formula for schools that doesn’t prioritise urban areas over rural. I have met with the Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb, three times in the past year to campaign for improved provision of services for children with Special Educational Needs, as well as specific funding for school improvements in the constituency.

Following a number of discussion with both Environment Minister and Marine Management Organisation (MMO), I am pleased that they granted a further extension to the suspension of the license to dump silt from Exmouth Marina at Sprey Point until January 18th 2019. This has been an issue of real concern for the community and I am pleased with the progress we have made. It is vital we protect our Blue Flag bathing water and our local economy.

Anne Marie Morris MP
Anne Marie Morris MP

Throughout the year, the Department for Transport have been carrying out detailed ground investigation to understand what is happening to the cliffs and coastline in areas around Dawlish and Teignmouth. This work will feed into longer-term projects to make the railway more resilient to the extreme weather. These options were discussed with the local community and other stakeholders in October, to gather opinions on the proposals. The Government have announced that plans for major improvements for the seawall at Dawlish will be published next summer.

I very much welcome the news that Devon Partnership NHS Trust’s bid for £8m in national capital funding has been approved. This will enable them to press ahead with plans to increase inpatient capacity for adults with mental health needs by building a brand new, 16 bed ward on the Torbay Hospital site. As well as providing a safe, high quality environment for patients, the new ward will mean that more people can be treated close to home; a leading priority for the Trust.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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