3. Dr Sarah Wollaston
Health committee chief
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This former Devon GP has become one of the most widely respected MPs in the country.
Dr Wollaston has a flair for honest diplomacy that has won her recognition across the political spectrum and ensured her unopposed reappointment as House of Commons Health Committee chair following June’s general election.
GPs who nominated her for the Pulse Power 50 say she ‘talks a lot of sense’ and is ‘aware of the problems in the NHS’. They further praised her for ‘challenging falsehoods spun by Prime Minister Theresa May and ministerial colleagues’ about general practice.
Perhaps her greatest moment last year was defending GPs when she called on the Prime Minister to apologise for scapegoating GPs for the A&E crisis. Dr Wollaston said blaming access to GP practices for patients being left on trolleys and ambulance delays was ‘pretty dismal stuff’ from the Government and a ‘failure to understand the complexity or own responsibility’.
And, with relative success, Dr Wollaston also called on the Government to stop claiming to the public that it was increasing NHS funding by £10bn, when the figure was £4.5bn – a real-terms decrease.
Under Dr Wollaston, the health committee has also highlighted the pitfalls associated with the Government’s seven-day routine general practice agenda and putting a GP in every A&E department.
A vital check on the excesses of the current Government
What others say
GPs praised Dr Wollaston for helping to ‘raise the profession’s profile’ and not being afraid to ask awkward questions about funding
She was a police surgeon for four years