London GP Chaand Nagpaul has been elected leader of the UK’s GPs.
Dr Nagpaul (pictured right) was appointed by the BMA GPs committee at its meeting today. He succeeds Laurence Buckman who steps down as GPC chair after serving his six-year term.
Dr Nagpaul said he was delighted to have been chosen and was looking forward to developing a constructive approach with government to guide the NHS through difficult times.
‘General practice is facing a number of tough challenges as funding pressures begin to bite and the government’s competition agenda impacts on how care is delivered,’ he said.
‘However, primary care has a long track record of innovation that I believe has the potential to tackle the problems we face and help deliver real improvements to patient care despite the tough economic and political climate.
‘I am looking forward to meeting with ministers as I do believe we need a positive, constructive and fresh approach with government.’
His election was welcomed by NHSE (NHS Employers) and the RCGP (Royal College of GPs).
NHSE chief executive Dean Royles said: ‘This is an important appointment. The NHSE organisation welcomes the election of [Dr Nagpaul]. We look forward to working with [the GPC] in what will be a critical period for primary care. As the GP contract now operates differently in each of the four UK countries, we will need to quickly establish an approach that recognises the differing ambitions across the four countries for the GMS contract.’
The RCGP described the election as ‘great news’.
‘We congratulate [Dr Nagpaul] on his election and look forward to working with him as new [GPC chair] as he builds on the achievements of Dr Buckman … This is a tough time for general practice and it is now more important than ever that the RCGP and the GPC continue to work together to protect our profession and our patients,’ the college says in a statement.
In addition to Dr Nagpaul’s election, three GP negotiators were also elected at today’s GPC meeting. They are Derbyshire GP Peter Holden, Cornwall GP Beth McCarron-Nash and Leeds GP Richard Vautrey.
They will work with Dr Nagpaul and Midlothian GP Dean Marshall, who was elected as a negotiator last year, to take forward the GPC’s priorities for the next year.