19. Dr Charlotte Jones
Welsh GPC chair
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Life may not be perfect for Welsh GPs, but it’s a damn sight better than in England and Northern Ireland. And they have Dr Jones to thank for that.
‘She is just generally brilliant at promoting and developing primary care,’ was how one nominator put it.
And her work over the past year bears testament to that. The new contract managed to secure significant funds for practices, including a 2.7% uplift, new warfarin and care home DESs, phlebotomy resources and new premises resources.
Dr Jones had already got the Welsh Government to suspend QOF from January to April to ease pressure on practices during the winter, which saw them paid for all indicators based on the previous year’s achievement if they so wished.
But – like her equivalent in Scotland, Dr Alan McDevitt – she still has to fight for practices on the very real problems they face. A project led by Dr Jones this year found that there had been a surge in ‘at risk’ GP practices in Wales, with 29 submitting applications for help from their local health boards.
Grassroots GPs point to the good working relationship between the GPC and the Welsh Government. As one put it, she ‘a working relationship with Welsh Government that is collaborative - nothing like the confrontational approach in England’.
So who have Welsh GPs got to thank for her approach? She says: ‘My two teenagers (Rhiannon and William) of whom I am immensely proud and who really show me how to negotiate. New techniques exhibited frequently.’