I know that local health and care services are a top priority for people in North Norfolk. That’s why, for as long as I have been your MP, I have made them my priority too. And for the past two years I have had an opportunity I never expected to improve services not just here but across the country in my role as Care Minister.
First of all, I was really pleased that the Chancellor responded to my call for extra investment in the NHS. We all know the system is under a lot of pressure, and the extra £2bn will be incredibly important.
In January the Care Bill completed its passage through Parliament and became law. It aimed to tackle the unfairness of our care funding system – capping care costs for the first time ever, and making sure that no one will be forced to sell their home during their lifetime to pay for care. We also dramatically increased the threshold for means-tested support so more people will receive some financial help.
And on mental health, we have delivered transformative changes this year. At the Liberal Democrat conference in October we announced the first access and waiting time standards for mental health. And in December we announced new funding to transform young people’s eating disorder services – tackling one of the major causes of young deaths, and helping children get the best possible start in life.