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7. Dr Mike Bewick

The change-maker

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Dr Mike Bewick comes in at number seven in the 2013 Pulse Power 50. He is a new entry this year.

NHS England’s deputy medical director Dr Mike Bewick is the man with a very big plan for the future of general practice.

He is leading the ‘Call To Action’ consultation on the future of primary care, covering a huge range of topics vital to the working lives of GPs: extended opening hours; reform of the QOF; increased patient choice of GP practice; and, perhaps most contentious of all, named GPs for vulnerable patients.

The outcome of the consultation will determine NHS England’s approach to primary care for the foreseeable future, and Dr Bewick – formerly a GP in Cumbria – says his ambition for the year ahead is to develop a primary care strategy ‘which patients can embrace’.

‘I am confident that we can achieve this,’ he says.

Dr Bewick has not shied away from controversy, telling GPs that they should welcome more GP feedback and raising the prospect of CCGs directly commissioning primary care.

Dr Bewick was medical director for primary care at NHS Cumbria from 2008, before he took up his role for NHS England this year, coping with events such as the ‘total wipeout’ of GP services after the floods in Cockermouth in 2009.

His considered advice to those about to enter general practice? ‘Embrace change.’

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