47. Dr Laurence Buckman
The GPC’s elder statesman
Dr Laurence Buckman comes in at number 47 in the 2013 Pulse Power 50. He is down 44 places on last year’s list.
GPC chair for the past six years, Dr Laurence Buckman is used to finding himself near the top of Pulse’s Power 50. And while his position has inevitably slipped after he stood down from the negotiating team in July – the ‘end of an era’, according to his peers – the cheerfully blunt north London GP remains ‘hugely influential’.
Looking back on his last year in office, Dr Buckman claims ‘observing Government dissembling over NHS 111’ stands out as a particular highlight. No need to ask him about the lowlight – the GP contract imposition in April may have been, as Dr Buckman says, ‘obvious and inevitable’, but it undoubtedly ended his lengthy negotiating career at a low point.
But it’s not a complete adieu. Over the coming year Dr Buckman will be well placed to offer sage advice from his vantage point as a ‘backbench’ GPC member, and he’ll also be thrown back into the frontline, returning to work four days a week as single-handed GP in Finchley.
Taking it easy won’t be on the agenda – as he puts it himself: ‘I am not sure what relaxing means.’