18. Dr Michelle Drage
Dr Drage has long been been a stalwart of medicopolitics but her influence never seems to wane.
Over the past year, as chief of Londonwide LMCs, she has continued to lobby NHS England for support of general practice in the capital.
This has included raising awareness about the destabilisation of practice funding and standing up to unreasonable workload demands via the ‘GP state of emergency’ campaign.
She has also worked closely with the mayor’s office to introduce curbs on fast food shops and advertising near schools, as well as to crack down on health inequalities related to deprivation.
And she has been vocal, alongside other GP leaders, in warning against the model of digital general practice being rolled out by private firm Babylon, since it launched its NHS GP at Hand service in November.
She joined others in warning against its alleged ’cherry-picking’ of fit and healthy patients.
In the coming year, Dr Drage will be pushing for grassroots GPs to get more involved in the work towards new models of general practice and NHS England’s sustainability and transformation programme.
Why influential: Has the ear of general practice policymakers
What others say: ‘Tireless and skilful leader for London issues’
Random fact: Has survived 19 health secretaries in her medical career (starting with Barbara Castle)