Dr Nigel Watson was nominated for being an ‘LMC legend’ and running what his peers called ‘the best LMC in the country’.
And the New Forest GP certainly has an enviable reputation, ensuring Wessex GPs have a seat at the very top table, influencing the direction of policy in the region and bringing in much-needed new investment.
Dr Watson led a seven-day access bid for the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund and won ‘vanguard’ status for seven practices – including his own – in South Hampshire.
The scheme will see GPs teaming up with a small community hospital to set up an extended service to some 70,000 patients, including the frail elderly and those with mental health conditions.
Dr Watson said of the experience of setting up the extended service: ‘It was lots of work to get GP buy-in and engage with many different organisations – but there’s now massive potential to deliver change and make general practice sustainable. GPs are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.’
This coming year will see Dr Watson lead on the opening of a seven-day primary care centre and pilot a musculoskeletal extended scope practitioner to help practices add capacity.
But he has to get through his own practice’s CQC inspection first…