9 - Dr Michelle Drage
When Dr Michelle Drage lost her place as a GP negotiator in 2008, there were some who felt her days as one of the profession’s most influential figures could be at an end. Instead, her standing is now higher than ever.
When Dr Michelle Drage lost her place as a GP negotiator in 2008, there were some who felt her days as one of the profession's most influential figures could be at an end. Instead, her standing is now higher than ever.
She has used her platform as chief executive of Londonwide LMCs to make a series of well-timed interventions over the NHS reforms, and has not been afraid to take on her former GPC colleagues when she has felt London practices are losing out. Dr Drage's speech at the Special Representative Meeting was cited by many as a turning point of the meeting, as she warned her colleagues the BMA could see an exodus to the National Association of Primary Care if they opted for all-out opposition to the health bill.
As a former guest editor of Pulse, Dr Drage championed longer GP consultation times – and then successfully fought NHS London's proposal to cut them.
Dr Drage said: ‘I am concentrating on trying to ensure GP consortia stay focused on the suppliers of secondary and community services and not micro-management of general practice – I don't want reinvention of PCTs. It's crucial practices feel empowered and this can only be achieved if we take the bureaucracy out of the consultation.'