Veteran GP Dr Peter Swinyard continues to champion the cause of small practices in his role as chair of the Family Doctor Association, a group that has gained prominence – and attracted more members – this year. But the Swindon GP’s views are more nuanced than some of his grassroots peers.
Despite being one of the most vocal opponents of the Government’s pension reforms, he declared the BMA’s day of action an ‘own goal’ and refused to take part.
He also supports the principles behind the Government’s NHS reforms and has championed GP engagement in commissioning, although he admits the implementation has been ‘clumsy’ at times.
Dr Swinyard has also been quick to flag up the potential dangers of revalidation, warning it could force single-handed GPs to retire.
Over the next 12 months, he hopes to support family doctors by translating and simplifying the Government’s changes into constructive guidance, as well as helping GPs adapt to the new CQC requirements and changes to the QOF.
‘This is the first, and possibly the last, time GPs have the potential to influence the direction of patients, their continuity of care, and offer a patient-centred service strengthened by relationships with social care,’ he says.
‘A smooth transition from PCT-land to the “new world” is of utmost importance.’