Dr Dean Eggitt is an exciting new voice on the GPC. During his first year on the committee, he has colourfully laid into NHS England plans for ‘golden hellos’ to attract new GPs (‘Keep the bloody money’) and Jeremy Hunt’s ‘new deal’ for general practice (‘We are not looking for sticking plasters’).
But he is no rent-a-gob. As medical secretary of Doncaster LMC there have been numerous examples throughout the year where he has gone the extra mile for colleagues. He has pioneered a rapid-access pastoral service for GPs struggling to cope and supported a local GP preparing a legal case against NHS England after he was served with a breach notice on his first day off work with burnout. Dr Eggitt has also personally taken on a fundraising drive for a locum GP’s family that faces losing the family home after being denied ‘death in service’ payments, because the GP died on a day off.
‘What is happening is grossly unjust and must be challenged. Together we can help,’ he says.
And that goes to the heart of Dr Eggitt’s philosophy. ‘I have a personal need to ensure my team and colleagues are successful in their endeavours. We all have similar goals and aspirations, so we may as well help each other,’ he says.
This stems from a tough upbringing. ‘I am loud and persistent with my opinions, so I’m difficult to ignore,’ he says. ‘I have an obligation to give back to a society that lifted me from destitute poverty as a child to middle class as an adult.’
And this is what he has been doing this year: setting up free educational workshops for GPs in his region, intervening to ensure local GPs are able to cope and defending the profession in radio and TV interviews.
All this from a man who was told he would not make a good doctor. ‘My college teacher told me to be a bricklayer, because it was what I was made for,’ he says.