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Dr Jackie Applebee has finally made the GPC grow a pair.
After the BMA rejected calls for industrial action last year, she persuaded this year’s LMCs Conference to back another motion for a ballot of practices on collectively closing their lists.
And the GPC has already responded, asking practices whether they would support a ballot later in the year to protest at the underfunding of general practice. Whether the ballot finally goes ahead will depend on how practices respond, but Dr Applebee, chair of Tower Hamlets LMC in east London, is not one to rest on her laurels.
She succeeded in persuading Tower Hamlets Council to reject plans to cut costs by overhauling local NHS services under its Sustainability and Transformation Plan. Dr Applebee submitted a petition to the local council with around 500 signatures demanding that plans to save £578m from the North and East London health and social care budgets be scrapped. In response, the local deputy mayor assured petitioners that the council would not sign up to the plans and would fight budget cuts.
Dr Applebee herself says her highlight of the past year was being included in the Labour Party election broadcast which was filmed by Ken Loach. In the coming year she pledges to ‘continue on GPC to push for a strong response to the crisis in general practice’. She will also continue to work on Doctors in Unite’s ‘vision for the NHS’, and sharing this with the Labour Party’s shadow health team.
Dr Applebee is also a volunteer for Doctors of the World and Freedom From Torture.
Voice for stronger action to protect general practice
What others say
‘A woman of integrity’
Dr Applebee swam 8km a week before her hip replacement