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At the heart of general practice since 1960

What is your verdict on Dr Laurence Buckman’s first year as GPC chair?

Dr Ravi Mene, GP in Trafford, Manchester

‘Things have definitely improved with Laurence. There is more openness, more frankness and he's communicated better with LMCs. It develops trust and makes people believe that things are being done.'

Dr David Gilbert, GP in Stockport, Cheshire

‘He's had a very difficult year. There's been a campaign by this Government to destabilise the whole of general practice and try to bypass the leadership. He's managed admirably and shown strong leadership.'

Dr Andrew Mimnagh GP in Sefton, Merseyside

‘The transition did cause some unsettlement. He was a victim of his own success. His well-known, forthright stance occasioned the Government to get its punches in first. You can't really come out fighting against that – it reinforces the stereotype.

'GPs may have been expecting more of a firebrand and I suspect that was why there was a transient dissatisfaction. But he's behaved in a co-ordinated way.'

Dr Brian Balmer chief executive of Essex LMCs

‘Laurence Buckman has done very well. I don't think any other leader would have behaved any differently and I don't think the Government would have behaved any differently.'

Dr Chris Ford GP in London and member of the RCGP sex, drugs and HIV task group

‘We had a surge in income in the first year of the contract and cuts every year after that – what profession has had to put up with that? We are moving towards a box-ticking culture and forgetting the real focus, which should be care of the patient.'

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