After standing down from a six-year spell as chair of the Scottish GPC, Dr Dean Marshall was elected back onto the GPC in controversial fashion, taking the place of the only female negotiator.
The result was testament to his no-nonsense negotiating style on behalf of GPs in Scotland, where he says his proudest achievement was leading on a Way Ahead document for the Scottish NHS. He says the document will be used by the Scottish Government to inform its NHS reforms – and he hopes to facilitate the same level of engagement with Department of Health policy makers in his work for the UK GPC.
‘Any slack there once was has been completely taken up,' he says. ‘In Scotland, I was fighting against the increasing demands on practice and attempts by the NHS to defund practices. Both of those issues are little different to those that affect English GPs.'
Dr Marshall's negotiating remit currently covers appraisal and revalidation, while he also supports fellow negotiators on pensions and other key issues.
He says: ‘Like everyone else, I'm extremely concerned about what will happen over the next 12 months.
‘It's not just competition that bothers me, it's all parts of the health act. I worry that if it goes wrong, GPs will be picking up the pieces – we'll be the ones keeping the NHS going.'