ALMOST nine months have passed since Prime Minister Theresa May assigned David Mowat to one of the toughest jobs in Government.

The Tory Warrington South MP, 60, was announced as a minister at the Department of Health last July.

As parliamentary under secretary of state for community health and care, Mr Mowat's portfolio includes adult social care, primary care, long-term conditions and the NHS transformation.

But the Prime Minister was made to wait before she could officially appoint Mr Mowat to the role last summer.

Mr Mowat said: "I remember I was appointed while out at Stretton Walking Day.

"I was walking around and received a call from the Prime Minister.

"I could not take the call initially but returned it afterwards."

Despite his pride at being appointed, Mr Mowat admits it has had a significant impact on his ability to tackle constituency issues first hand.

The Wilmslow resident is now usually based in London on at least four days each week, with the current Department of Health offices based yards from Parliament.

In his post, Mr Mowat has been travelling across the country to visit lobby groups and local authorities to deliver speeches and find out more about how they operate on limited budgets.

"It would be a lie to say I have just as many hours in the day to focus on constituency issues but a lot of my team is here," he said.

"There are positive impacts of my role for Warrington.

"I get informed about things earlier based on my experiences in the town and get told about relevant issues linked to my portfolio.

"Also, as a minister, when you raise matters to other ministers, you are taken a bit more seriously.

"I did not have a particular goal to be on the ministerial ladder but I am glad I am on it.

"It is tough – sometimes you are just trying to get to the end of the week.

"I don't have an ultimate goal. All any of us can do is hope things are better at the end than they were when we started."

The politician's task in Whitehall is unlikely to get easier anytime soon but he has been encouraged by some improvements in the country.

He said: "What is the case, which I am not sure the whole country has realised yet, is the extent social care is going to become a really big issue.

"Over the last 10 years the population has increased by around 10 per cent and the population of over 85s has increased by nearly 30 per cent – that is huge.

"We have been very good at increasing the quantity of life with people but not so much the quality of life.

"Lots of people have several long-term conditions but it actually does not kill them – however, it is debilitating and the costs of it are a lot.

"As a country we have to pay for social care.

"The care system employs more people than the NHS – 1.6 million people work in social care and 1.3 million in the NHS.

"I have spoken to the Prime Minister, she has also had a lot of pressure on her surrounding social care. There is a dialogue between us and her.

"One area in health we are definitely improving in is around cancer – we have been behind Europe but are catching up in different ways.

"When you see things are working better that is the most rewarding thing for me but things do work slowly in Government."

Mr Mowat, who is a governor of Priestley College and The Challenge Academy Trust, also said he is 'pleased' with his relationship with the Labour-run council.

He added: "They are trying to represent Warrington just as I am – it is right that we work together."