Dr David Wrigley is back in the hot seat as the BMA’s deputy chair, having previously been in the role in 2016, and he’s promising to give the Government a hard time on behalf of all doctors.
The doughty campaigner against privatisation of the NHS, who also chairs Doctors in Unite, says there are ‘many’ challenges ahead but his immediate priorities include addressing this year’s ‘grossly insulting’ pay rise from the Government.
Dr Wrigley says the pay award – which the Government claims will provide GPs with a 2% uplift – ‘goes nowhere near pulling back from the eight to 10 years of underfunding that we’ve seen’.
The Lancashire GP says his work will also centre on the repercussions of the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case, following the Court of Appeal’s decision last month to uphold her suspension from the medical register – instead of having her struck off, as the GMC had wanted.
This will involve delving further into the implications for doctors’ regulation, in the light of the ‘huge pressure’ staff are working under in the NHS and ‘how mistakes can be made…any day, ’he says.
‘The Appeal Court decision has changed things. The BMA will be focusing on that,’ he told Pulse.
Making inroads with the new health secretary, Matt Hancock, will also be high on the priority list.
‘We’ve got a new secretary of state who has said he wants to look after the staff and help them. But there’s been no evidence of that yet in any actions we’ve seen,’ says Dr Wrigley.
Why influential: Respected campaigner
What others say: ‘An influential trade unionist fighting for the profession’
Random fact: Took part in Lancaster’s 5k parkrun recently – but admits it was more of a walk for him