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10. Dr Nigel Watson

UP 6

Dr Nigel Watson has quietly gained influence over the past year through his work as chief executive of Wessex LMCs and chair of the GPC's commissioning and service development subcommittee.

Described by one of our panel members as ‘generating solutions behind the scenes to all kinds of difficult issues', the New Forest GP has played a central role in developing GPC policies on the Government's health reforms.

Our panel also highlighted Dr Watson's key role in liaising with Department of Health policy makers on behalf of the GPC, praising him as‘well respected by civil servants for his pragmatism'.

Dr Watson, who has been a GP for 25 years, says: ‘The biggest threat to general practice is the workload and its complexities. People are living longer and with multiple conditions, and what we can do in general practice is far greater than what we could do 25 years ago. Things are more challenging.'

He relishes the opportunities that come with change and uncertainty. ‘I think there is going to be turmoil during the transfer from PCTs to CCGs,' he says. ‘But I think there are loads of opportunities for GPs to influence the way the agenda is going. I still think general practice is a wonderful profession.'

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