It was Dr Howard Freeman’s role as a commissioning pioneer that caught the eye of our panel.
The part-time Wandsworth GP splits his remaining time between high-profile roles as associate medical director for primary care for NHS London and joint medical director for NHS South West London. He is also an interim chair of Merton CCG.
Over the past year, much of his time has been spent establishing and chairing the London Clinical Commissioning Council. This brings CCGs together to work collaboratively across the capital.
Dr Freeman is also a key architect behind a controversial scorecard for GP practices in London.
He says the past year has been one of the most challenging since he got involved in medical politics 20 years ago: ‘This is the humpty-dumpty change’, he says. ‘The NHS has fallen off the wall and is in so many pieces we might never get it back together again.’
Despite this downbeat analysis, Dr Freeman is adamant that the clinician’s role in reforming the NHS remains more important than ever.
‘Right from the start, I have wanted to change that frustration you have when as a GP you have very little control over what happens to your patients,’ he says.