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Dr John Grenville

Dr John Grenville is secretary of Derbyshire LMC and is soon to retire from the GPC after six years. He has been attending LMCs conferences since 1981

Dr John Grenville is secretary of Derbyshire LMC and is soon to retire from the GPC after six years. He has been attending LMCs conferences since 1981

What has been the general mood at this year's conference?

The change in mood over the past two years has been immense. People feel more optimistic. We have realised we can put pressure on the Government and achieve things but we haven't gone overboard.

Which motions were particularly important to you?

Commercialisation is the biggest single issue we've got to look out for.

Did this motion most unite opinion?

Yes. It's clear to GPs, but not to other people – and not just patients. I've been talking to a lot of journalists. The more they dig into it, the more horrified they seem to be.

Which motions most divided opinion?

The one censuring the negotiators was a very heartfelt speech. There are GPs out there who think the GPC doesn't do enough. We need to harness their anger and ability and get them into the fold. They have the energy.

What did you make of the out-of-hours discussion?

I'm sure the GPC will look at it, but is unlikely to come back next year and say, we've got out-of-hours back.

We won't get back to where we were 10 or 15 years ago. Commissioning a service for 100 hours a week is a huge job. GPs finding the time to do that, and the day job, is a huge task.

Is this one of the most highly charged conferences you've attended?

It has been comparable to 1990, when we were looking at a new contract, and the 2003 special conference.

What message would you hope GPs take away from the conference?

That if GPs and their patients stand together, the Government may be made to listen to messages about the future of the NHS.

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