There was widespread surprise when Dr Beth McCarron-Nash, sole female on the GPC negotiating team, recently lost her negotiator’s post to Dr Dean Marshall in a mid-term election.
Despite this setback, Dr McCarron-Nash’s achievements in the last year ensure her strong standing in our list, up six places from last year.
She has lobbied against unpalatable aspects of the Health and Social Care Act and is particularly proud of her role in achieving what she describes as a ‘fair deal’ for GPs in this year’s contract negotiations.
The Cornwall sessional GP has led the GPC’s negotiations on education, training and the workforce, including the plans to extend GP training to four years.
She has also campaigned hard against an increase in pensions contributions, which, as the youngest GPC negotiator, would have hit her and her peers particularly hard.
She is now determined to tackle what she calls a ‘two-tier’ system that divides GP partners from salaried and sessional GPs by encouraging more practices to take on new partners.
Dr McCarron-Nash believes the profession faces huge challenges over the coming year from ‘ever-increasing workload, stress, de-professionalisation, a threat to practice contracts and revalidation’.
She hopes she can inspire other young GPs to become involved in medical politics and, despite losing out on a negotiator post, says she will continue to represent grassroots views on the GPC as best she can.