Dartmouth Medical Practice GP Graham Lockerbie has declared he is ‘proud and excited’ to be chosen as the new Medical Director for the NHS in Plymouth, Torbay and Devon.
And Dr Lockerbie, who has been a GP in Dartmouth for nearly 30 years, has said that he is determined to do all he can to help ensure good healthcare for all in Devon and hopes to make a big impression in the role, which he started this month.
In 2013 large Primary Care Trusts will be dissolved and a new system where groups of GP surgeries will work together to decide what kind of care is needed in each area will be brought in
Dr Lockerbie, one of the partners at Dartmouth Medical Practice, will be helping to ensure that the change from the current NHS organisation is managed well and goes smoothly.
He was picked for the role in part thanks to his long experience sitting on the ‘Commissioning’ boards that decide what care services have been provided to patients in the South Devon area over the last twenty years.
His time at the very heart of the NHS means that he understands all the implications of the choices large Health organisations make every day. His calm and friendly demeanour has won him many friends in Dartmouth and he now takes his expertise onto a larger stage.
The new role means that Dr Lockerbie will be dropping his hours in Dartmouth Medical Practice, and will be in the surgery one day a week. He will be undertaking this arrangement to see if it works well for him and the patients of the practice – and will be reviewed in three months.
But he insists that the change in role will only be good for the patients of Dartmouth.
As ‘Medical Director’ Dr Lockerbie will be taking on the challenge of ensuring new systems and organisation put in place for the new NHS setup are funded properly, will help to improve cooperation between GP practices, will be in charge of checking that GPs and their practices are up to scratch and will be a figurehead for health services in the area along with the new cluster Chief Executive Ann James.
Dr Lockerbie said: ‘I am very pleased to have been offered this post, which will make a real difference to the health services provided for all in Devon.
‘I know all my colleagues at the practice will continue to give the best care possible to the people of Dartmouth four days every week, and I will look forward to my day in surgery each week, helping to provide medical care and guidance to the people of Dartmouth – a town I love and have called home for more than quarter of a century. I hope it works out as it would be a huge shame for me to stop working at the practice.’
Dr Andrew Eynon-Lewis, a partner in Dartmouth Medical Practice, said: ‘Graham’s long involvement in the commissioning of medical services, along with his strong commitment to good health care for all mean he is the perfect fit for this role.
‘We have put together a plan to cover the days when Graham will now be out of the surgery – with Adam Morris, John Uhr Delia and myself increasing our hours. I am proud to work in a Medical Practice which has such depth in skill that not only can Graham take on such a coveted role, but we can arrange cover for him with our existing GPs, with relatively little disruption.’