23. Dr Charlotte Jones
Dr Charlotte Jones is the GPC chair making the weather in Wales. The Swansea GP successfully lobbied for the lion’s share of the additional £70m promised for the NHS in Wales this year, with £10m for developing GP clusters and £20m to take the pressure off GPs in the principality.
Last March, she led the team that secured a two-year contract deal for Welsh GPs that included a 101-point cut to the QOF and she’s been instrumental in Wales switching to a single employer for trainees, making it more attractive to train in the country.
And on the other side of Offa’s dyke Dr Jones has also held sway. As GPC lead for unscheduled care, she has successfully highlighted major concerns with NHS 111 – although there were some concerns over whether her figures added up – and she has catalysed NHS England to consider once again integrating it with out-of-hours services.
And she put the knife into pharmacy schemes to provide flu vaccinations, saying they ‘cream the easy patients off the top’, leaving GPs with a higher workload.
As one of her nominators pointed out: ‘She provides clear, gutsy leadership and is prepared to tackle the major issues head on, using humour to deflate obstacles and pomposity.’
Over the next year, Dr Jones says she will be fighting for a fairer item-of-service fee for vaccinations and addressing costs for out-of-hours work as chair of the indemnity panel for the Urgent Care Commission in England.
She says: ‘Indemnity is a key area I am working on and the GPC is aiming to find solutions that will address the various concerns and issues.’