43. Dr Laura Edwards
GP trainee champion
Dr Laura Edwards is a quietly spoken GP, still in the first five years of her career, but she has shown some mettle as medical director of Wessex LMCs.
She was nominated for ‘her work with trainees’, including a survey of 1,400 GPs last year that showed massive gaps emerging in the Wessex workforce, as half of trainees did not want to stay and 14% of GPs wanted to retire.
Dr Edwards has also forced talks at a national level between NHS Property Services and the BMA after raising the alarm over ‘overly onerous’ contractual terms being forced on practices.
She has also challenged Simon Stevens directly at the LMC Secretaries conference over the effect of GP-bashing by the national media on morale and on the future workforce.
She says she loved hearing that the work she has done locally has made a real difference to colleagues, but particularly enjoys the pastoral aspect of her work: ‘It means a lot to support colleagues who give so much to their patients every day – it feels like we are giving them something back when the system they work in currently doesn’t.’
She is definitely one to watch in the coming year.