One of our panel described Dr Sarah Wollaston – a practising GP until her election last year as Conservative MP for Totnes in Devon – as ‘my new hero’.
She has caused a stir in defying Tory whips to speak out against the health bill, warning health secretary Andrew Lansley he was ‘losing the profession’. She refused to sit on the bill committee after being told she could not ask difficult questions and has instead used her position on the Commons health committee to examine the bill’s weaknesses in forensic detail.
Dr Wollaston, as one panel member noted, continues to speak more like a GP than a politician. She is an enthusiast of GP commissioning, but has articulated her profession’s concerns over the controversial any willing provider policy. Monitor, she says, could change the NHS ‘beyond recognition’. She has also sponsored a private member’s bill on alcohol advertising.
Dr Wollaston said: ‘I came into politics to try to bring grassroots clinical experience to Westminster. GPs welcome clinical commissioning and an end to meaningless targets, but I hope the coalition will listen to their concerns.’