Candidates for new GPC chairman publish manifestos

On 19 July, members of the GPC will elect one of six candidates to replace Dr Hamish Meldrum, who became BMA chairman last month.

Dr Hamish Meldrum
Dr Hamish Meldrum

The six candidates to replace outgoing GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum have published manifestos to support their campaigns.

Several candidates called for greater involvement of LMCs in policymaking and plan to make better use of the skills of GPC subcommittees by delegating more responsibility.

They set out concerns about DoH plans for revalidation, private providers and polyclinics, and several pledged to push for a pay rise in 2008.

Dr Laurence Buckman said the GPC should be ‘more robust’ in dealing with politicians, and said he was prepared to ‘fight constant attempts to de-professionalise doctors’ by altering revalidation.

He pledged to make the GPC more 'outward-looking', with a more corporate system of policy-making.

Dr Buckman has been a GPC negotiator for 10 years, a GPC member for 16 years, and deputy chairman for three years. He co-chaired the GMS quality framework negotiating group and has led a number of subcommittees.

Dr Andrew Dearden said he knew 'when a line in the sand is needed and how to keep to it'.

He cited as a key personal strength the ability to involve the wider committee in decision-making. He pointed to success in negotiating and communicating clearly to the profession over GP pensions as evidence of his effectiveness.

Dr Dearden was GPC Wales chairman until early this month, and is chairman of the BMA pensions committee. He was previously BMA community care committee chairman.

Dr John Canning offered a 'different style of chairmanship' – more collegiate than in the past.

He cited a pay rise, stopping unpaid new work, appropriate regulation and a return ticket for PMS practices as top priorities.

Dr Canning is currently Cleveland LMC secretary and chairman of the BMA professional fees committee.

Dr Peter Holden said the profession should be 'more forthright' in its self-defence.

He pledged to treat a pay rise, maintenance of current working hours, contractual fairness, and fitness to practise based on a criminal standard of proof among his priorities.

Dr Holden said his 23 years on the GPC, eight of them as a negotiator, and long spells chairing subcommittees give him 'unrivalled' experience.

Dr Eric Rose said he was standing because he feared DoH policy would destroy the profession.

Key concerns were the DoH favouring APMS contracts held by private firms, the drive against small practices, plans for polyclinics and pressure on agreed contracts.

He is a former LMCs conference chairman and longstanding GPC member who took part in reviewing the GMS contract formula.

Dr Richard Vautrey said he was 'under no illusions' that the DoH would try to claw back MPIG payments and cut PMS growth money, and pledged to resist this.

He cited protecting pensions, trainers and trainee GPs as key priorites, and pledged to break away from historic antipathy towards the RCGP. Changing the GPC to better reflect changes in the profession was vital, he said, along with making full use of members’ skills.

Dr Vautrey has been a GPC member for six years, and a negotiator for three. He has been Leeds LMC secretary for eight years.

LINK to GPC chairman survey:
Please click here

LINK to full manifestos:
Please click here

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