It has been an interesting year for Professor David Haslam, juggling his time between three very different roles.
He has been president of the BMA during a period when the association has been fighting fiercely on behalf of GPs – while at the same time filling the much more contentious role of clinical adviser to the Care Quality Commission as it implements its controversial GP practice registration scheme.
The former RCGP chair insists he has been representing GPs in his role on the CQC.
‘I have gone out of my way to make sure the registration process is as logical as possible to avoid it taking up too much of practices’ time,’ he says. ‘It is vital we do it in the most respectful way to general practice, and the last thing we want is to have opportunities lost and time wasted.’
He describes his period as president of the BMA, which came to an end in June, as ‘enlightening’ and expresses confidence in the association’s ability to represent GPs’ interests, despite widespread criticism of its handling of the pensions dispute.
‘It has got a real difficult tightrope to walk as it has to represent the views of its members and recognise the reality of the political stage,’ he says. ‘But I have confidence it can do that.’
To add to the demands of these two high-profile roles, Professor Haslam also spent part of the year contributing to the RCGP’s independent Commission on Generalism.
It is no wonder he decided this year was the time to retire from his practice of 35 years at the Ramsey Health centre in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. He can do so confident he has contributed much to the future of the profession he has loved.