On 29 April, Dr Dan enjoyed a visit to the Easton May Fair where he enjoyed visiting the many stalls, talking to residents and, of course, taking the opportunity to sample the local fayre. Dr Dan is a keen supporter of the many food and drink producers that we have here in the Constituency and always takes the opportunity to buy locally wherever possible.
Dr Dan was pleased to visit Sackers Metal Recycling in Great Blakenham. Following a meeting with the Directors, Dr Dan was then shown around the facility, where he discovered more about the types and quantity of scrap metal coming through the yard and the different methods of consolidating the waste.
With some 300 tonnes of metal waste being processed on a daily basis by the yard via their shredder alone, not to mention the bulk disposal of heavy plant equipment, it was fascinating to see how such bulky waste can be broken down and packaged into smaller and more manageable units.
Earlier this year, Dr Dan was interviewed by a group of students from Claydon High School as part of the BBC's School Report Day, where children from schools across the country take over their local radio stations and become budding broadcasters for the day. During the show, Dr Dan was invited to visit the school to hear about the work they are doing to raise awareness of the importance of mental health.
On Friday 28 April, Dr Dan was welcomed to the school and after a brief meeting with the Head, Dr Dan met the students to talk about the importance of breaking stigma in mental health and recognising when others may be in need of support. The students were very happy to talk to Dr Dan about the Anchor Programme, an initiative run by Volunteering Matters, aiming to raise awareness of mental heealth issues.
As well as discussing mental health, the students were also keen to talk to Dr Dan about the forthcoming General Election and it was clear to see that the students here are very engaged with the politics of the day.
Dr Dan is looking forward to a return visit to the school to hear more about the Anchor programme and their progress.
On Friday, Dr Dan was delighted to meet staff and residents at The Depperhaugh Nursing Home in Hoxne, near Eye. Dr Dan enjoyed a tour of the home and speaking with the team, before taking time to meet with a number of the residents.
Dr Dan was very impressed with the facilities at The Depperhaugh and very much enjoyed talking to some residents to hear their views, especially those keen to discuss the politics of the day.
Following his visit to The Depperhaugh, Dr Dan finished off the day with another busy Advice Bureau in Eye.
On Wednesday 29th March Dr Dan was delighted to welcome a group of students from the University of Suffolk to Westminster. Although the visit had been planned for some time, the staff and tutors made the trip from Suffolk to London on one of Parliament's busiest days – not only did their visit coincide with Prime Minister's Questions, but there was certainly an added buzz around the Houses of Parliament ahead of the triggering of Article 50.
The group of students enjoyed a tour of the Houses of Parliament where they learned about the fascinating history and heritage of the buildings themselves, but also more about the role of our democracy and the passing of legislation. The students had previously visited Dr Dan's office in October last year as part of the University's week-long "Business Fair" which allows the students to discover the diversity of businesses and opportunities in Suffolk. Following that visit, an invitation to visit Parliament was extended and Dr Dan was delighted meet the students at the end of their tour for a Question and Answer session.
It was clear that the students had enjoyed their tour of Parliament very much and were all too keen to get the Q&A session underway. They asked a number of questions on both local and national issues, and it goes without saying that the topic of Brexit featured highly, particularly in relation to local impact here in Suffolk. Aside from the politics of the day, there was much discussion around fiscal policy, agricultural matters, food labelling and public health policy. As part of the discussion Dr Dan was happy to share his experiences of balancing work as an MP with that of being a part-time NHS doctor.
Visits such as these help to strengthen the link between what Dr Dan does as an MP locally here in Suffolk and what he does in Parliament. Of course any visit to Parliament is an exciting experience, but to be here on the historic day when Article 50 was triggered is surely something that the students will all be able to recount in later years.
Following a busy morning in Framlingham, Dr Dan was delighted to visit Dennington Primary School where the pupils were enjoying a fun day of activity for Comic Relief, as well as enjoying a special Mother's Day Lunch.
After a meeting with the Head and Governors, Dr Dan enjoyed an inspired Question and Answer session with a group of Key Stage 2 pupils, all of whom had plenty of questions to put to their MP. It was clear to see that the students had down their homework with a wide range of questions and Dr Dan was very happy to share his experiences of life as an MP, both in London and in Suffolk.
Spring seems to have finally arrived in Suffolk and Dr Dan was delighted to visit a number of shops and businesses in the thriving market town of Framlingham where he met with a number of business owners and visitors.
During the visit Dr Dan was pleased to speak with business owners and to learn more about their successes and growth across many sectors. It was especially heartening to hear about the strong sense of community that many shops and businesses cited as being a real positive to doing business in Framlingham.
As part of the annual BBC News School Report Day, a group of students from Claydon High School joined BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy to talk about mental health and what they are doing to tackle the issue in their own school.
Claydon High School has become only the second school in Suffolk to embark upon the Mental Health First Aid course, run in conjunction with the charity, Volunteering Matters.
Taking the opportunity to raise the issue with their local MP, the students interviewed Dr Dan live on air, asking his views about what more needs to be done to improve mental health services for all, especially young people.
When asked about whether or not Dr Dan would like to see all students in Suffolk undertake the mental health first aid training, Dr Dan replied that he would be very much in favour of seeing greater awareness of mental health being made compulsory in all schools.
Listen to the full interview here (Skip through to 39:40 to the start of the interview with Dr Dan)
Following a busy visit to Earl Soham Primary School, Dr Dan was pleased to meet the team and a number of residents at nearby Foxearth Nursing Home in Saxtead.
Dr Dan enjoyed a tour of the home and speaking with the team, before taking time out to meet the residents and even dabble in spot of home baking.
From there, Dr Dan had a number of meetings, including with Suffolk Chamber of Commrece where broadband and highways infrastructure were discussed, before finishing off the day with a busy advice bureau in the North of Ipswich.
Dr Dan was delighted to start the day with a visit to Earl Soham Primary School, to hear about progress at the school and to meet the team.
Following a meeting with the Head, Dr Dan then enjoyed a tour of the school before taking time to answer a range of questions from the enthusiastic young pupils. Dr Dan talked to the pupils about his role as an MP in Parliament and here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.
Click here to contact Dan
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment (15 May 2018)
Daniel Poulter: The Minister is absolutely right to highlight the issue of data, or the lack of it. In the interests of parity of esteem, is it also worth looking at introducing access targets in mental health for access to child and adolescent mental health services, which do a lot of the assessment of people with ADHD? Would that help drive better data collection in the NHS? Measuring against a target,...
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment (15 May 2018)
Daniel Poulter: I did not intend to come across as discriminatory in the point that I made; it is CAMHS professionals—mental health professionals—who tend to do the assessments for ADHD in children. What is the Minister going to do about the recruitment crisis in CAMHS? Without those CAMHS professionals, we shall not be able to provide the diagnosis and delivery of care.