As the leader of the largest LMC in the country and a veteran GPC member, Dr Nigel Watson commands huge respect in the profession.
He was highlighted by our judges for ‘setting the agenda’ in his area and leading his LMC with considerable skill and ingenuity.
A defining point of 2014 has been to see his chairmanship of the GPC commissioning and service development committee come to an end. But he points out: ‘One door has closed and many more have opened.’
He says that locally discussions have moved away from a focus on the acute sector to the future of his profession, with an increasing number of organisations wanting to ‘engage with general practice’.
He is currently leading a project to integrate three practices with the community team and use a common health record, something which has been slow progress but the end is now in sight.
One thing about general practice which makes him sad is ‘seeing good GPs leaving the profession before their time because life has become too difficult and seeing the impact on practices’.
Dr Watson has worked in his New Forest practice for 27 years and complains that the ‘measly’ 24 hours in a day make his working life much harder. Luckily, his wife is also a GP in the practice.
He says: ‘Being a GP is an honour and a privilege, it is a great job and you will get out of it what you are prepared to put in.’