College leaders hailed his role in campaigning for a rise in GP funding, with general practice set to see its share of the overall NHS budget increase to more than 10% by 2020/21 under plans set out in the GP Forward View.
Speaking at the 2016 RCGP conference in Harrogate, Mr Hunt spelled out how growing concern about the crisis facing general practice had developed into the college's 'Put patients first: back general practice' campaign.
Watch Mr Hunt's speech in full:
His conference speech pointed to a 16% rise in GP workload based on growing numbers of consultations over the past seven years, while GP numbers had fallen.
Mr Hunt said that after deciding that it was right for the college campaign to drive home the message that the profession was facing a crisis, it was also important not to 'remain in crisis mode' for too long.
'We don't want to remain in crisis mode,' he told the conference last year. 'We need to be looking forward and we need to be introducing new notes of optimism and hope.'
But he said campaigning by the college had played a significant role in persuading NHS leaders and senior politicians that general practice was in dire need of investment, adding that the GP Forward View was 'a major result'.
The RCGP highlighted his work on launching the campaign, moving the college to new headquarters in London's Euston Square, and driving up college membership to a record high of 52,000.
RCGP chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard said: 'Neil has had a big impact on the College and played a key role in making our work more relevant to the day-to-day working lives of frontline GPs. We would like to put on record our thanks to him for all he has achieved.'
College director of planning and resources Valerie Vaughan-Dick will become acting chief executive while a successor is appointed.