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At the heart of general practice since 1960

3. Dr Sarah Wollaston

Health committee chief

03 wollaston sarah power50 2017 3

03 wollaston sarah power50 2017 3

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.

Why influential

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

Random fact

She was a police surgeon for four years

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