She may have been in general practice for 20 years but the past year has seen Dr Tracey Vell stride into the limelight, flying the flag for grassroots GPs and refusing to hold back in voicing her opinions.
In her new role of honorary secretary of Manchester LMC, she has been vocal about Manchester’s extended access pilot, arguing it is a waste of resources that does not address why people are turning up at A&E.
‘In the last year my greatest achievement has been to support GPs and their practices,’ she says. ‘The worst thing has been receiving emails from GPs suffering financially and mentally more than ever before.’
And of course breaking her leg – playing competitive netball – was not exactly a high point of the year either.
You can expect to hear a lot more from Dr Vell in the next year as she pledges to follow in the footsteps of her biggest influence – her GP trainer – who ‘dragged’ her to the LMC where she has since become executive, vice-chair and chair, at various points. ‘He taught me to look at the bigger picture and have a positive influence.
‘Sadly,he is no longer with us but I hope I can continue his legacy.’
And what it her one tip to other GPs? ‘Remember why you want to be a GP in the first place when chaos is raining around you’, she says.