This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dr Mark Shenton

...on bacon butties, NHS surveys and work-life balance

...on bacon butties, NHS surveys and work-life balance

The best thing about my practice is the people – what a team!

And the worst is working in a deficit PCT.

My greatest fear is people not understanding my point of view.

The trait I most dislike in myself is having to do things straight away – mind you, if I didn't, I'd never get everything done!

The trait I most dislike in others is tardiness.

The best thing about being a GP is being an independent practitioner, employer, entrepreneur and having control of my work-life balance.

I complained to the chief executive of the NHS over staff surveys because although genuine requests for information from the NHS are to be expected, interference from the NHS Executive in my role as an employer is disrespectful and undermining.

The most annoying thing about being a GP is having to hit administrative targets that are irrelevant to me.

My funniest moment as a GP is our practice's Christmas party and review. I get to write the songs and sketches and watch the rest perform.

The place I would most like to practise as a GP is Stowmarket, though previous experiences in Australia and the thoughts of working in an ‘in-balance' PCT cross my mind occasionally.

My most treasured possession is my family.

My favourite word is yes.

The book I'm reading at the moment is Relentless by Simon Kernick (but I only read on holiday – too tired otherwise).

My guiltiest pleasure is a sandwich bursting with Suffolk Black bacon and HP sauce.

If I could do one thing to change the world, it would be to ensure everyone has an equal chance – those that make the most of their chances deserve reward.

My greatest achievement is developing Stowhealth, my practice and business and maintaining a happy work-life balance.

The prospect of also having to work out of hours makes me depressed.

Being genuinely ill is the best reason for a sicknote a patient has given me. Writing ‘debility' on sicknotes for want of a better phrase is so depressing.

I relax by booking my holidays well in advance and cooking.

The guests at my ideal dinner party would be Richard Branson, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Robert Plant and all my mates. I'd do the menu, cooking and the wine choices. I like dinner parties that go on for ages.

If I wasn't a GP, I'd be a restaurateur, master of wine and food critic (just as I am at home).


• GP in Stowmarket, Suffolk
• Critic of the Department of Health staff survey, which he calls a ‘gross infringement' on his role as a practice employer

Rate this article  (5 average user rating)

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say