Dr Hamish Meldrum led the BMA into its first Special Representative Meeting since 1992 – and emerged with his position and reputation intact.
A proud Scot who works as a GP in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, he would have struggled to survive had he lost the key vote on his ‘critical engagement’ policy – but as it was, he established himself as a man capable of carrying his troops with him, after an impassioned keynote address.
The next few weeks though will show if he was right to believe keeping communication channels open can bring about real change to the bill – and keep warring GPs and consultants happy.
Dr Meldrum’s in-tray does not end there. He must also lead the fight against Government plans to overhaul GP pensions, which could make even the row over the health bill pale into insignificance.
Dr Meldrum said: ‘My main energies will be aimed at significantly amending – if not stopping – the Government’s health bill, protecting doctors’ pensions, trying to minimise the impact of the spending crisis on the NHS and helping ensure any system of revalidation is proportionate and fair.’