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Dr Helena McKeown ...

...on trampolining, third-world aid and the GPC

...on trampolining, third-world aid and the GPC

The best thing about my practice is the whole team works together to look after our patients and ourselves (and we get great cakes from our patients).

The worst thing about my practice is the wine the crematorium gives us at Christmas.

Going out on call as a single parent and not being able to get my babysitting reimbursed got me interested in GP politics.

Choose and Book makes me want to pull out my hair in frustration at this Government getting away with its spin on patient choice – which is no choice – and then using us as scapegoats for its debacles.

The trait I most dislike in myself is I'm forever trying to squeeze too much into too little time.

The trait I most dislike in others is pettiness, such as when people ruin a good curry by arguing over who ate how many grains of rice when the bill comes.

My favourite fictional doctor is either Livingstone – because I love exotic destinations – or Watson, because I like detective fiction and think Conan Doyle must have been a fantastic physician.

A patient turning to my medical student and saying I'd make quite a good doctor is my funniest moment as a GP.

Being overcharged because apparently we're all so wealthy is the most annoying thing about being a GP.

The vehicles I own are a mountain bike, four dolls' buggies, a Mazda and an Audi A6 with seats in the boot for the kids – I'm not grown up enough for a people carrier yet.

My guiltiest pleasure is Summer Lightning – the local ale.

My favourite word is charisma.

My best feature is my husband – women of a certain age adore him.

If I could do one thing to change the world, it would be to stop small children dying from a lack of clean water.

My greatest achievement is trekking the Inca Trail.

The book I'm reading at the moment is Patricia Highsmith's Ripley.

My small child keeps me awake at night.

My most vivid schooldays memory is being asked not to go in my convent school sixth-form common room because my radical ideas were a bad influence (it was the decade of Thatcherism and the year of the miners' strike).

The GPC is important because we are a truly democratic body using our negotiations for quality care for our patients, stopping the maddest, latest Government proposals and winning decent pay.

People who say Hamish Meldrum should resign are just jealous of his achievements.

I relax by trampolining.


• GP in Salisbury

• Member of the GPC

• Nationally elected member of the RCGP Council

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