Dr Farah Jameel becomes first woman to chair BMA GP committee

Dr Farah Jameel has been elected chair of the BMA's GP committee for England - becoming the first woman to take on the role.

GPC chair Dr Farah Jameel (Photo: BMA)

Dr Jameel was elected at a BMA GP committee meeting on 18 November to replace Dr Richard Vautrey, who announced his decision to step down at the start of this month.

The new GP committee chair is a sessional GP in Camden, north London, and has served on the GP committee's executive team since 2017. She has been a member of the BMA GP committee since 2014 and is also chair of Camden LMC.

Dr Jameel said: 'I am delighted and honoured to have been elected to represent GPs at a time of enormous challenge to the profession and I’d like to thank the former chair, Dr Richard Vautrey for his dedication and commitment to this committee and all that he has achieved.

Rebuilding general practice

'I don't underestimate the difficulties that lay ahead but we must recognise this as an opportunity to reset our relationship with government and begin to rebuild general practice.

'I look to use the next three years to work closely with fellow general practice leaders and grassroots GPs to design and deliver a stable and sustainable general practice, fit to serve generations of patients to come.'

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Her election as chair is a landmark moment for the BMA, coming just two years after women within the committee spoke out through GPonline about a sexist culture within it, triggering the Romney review.

The BMA congratulated Dr Jameel on her election as GP committee chair via social media, and outgoing chair Dr Vautrey offered congratulations, calling his successor a 'friend and colleague'.

GP crisis

Dr Jameel is the first woman to hold the post of GP committee chair for England, and could become the first woman to chair the UK committee. A UK chair will be elected from among the chairs for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England 'in due course' the BMA has said.

She takes on the role at a challenging time - with a BMA ballot of GPs over potential industrial action recently closed, intense pressure over face-to-face access to general practice, and in the midst of a workload and workforce crisis for the profession.

The England LMCs conference next week will debate concerns that abuse of practice staff - along with underfunding and understaffing - is directly undermining patient care, and will hear warnings that the GP committee has lost touch with the grassroots of the profession.

The House of Commons health and social care committee this week launched an inquiry into the future of general practice, with its chair and former health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt warning general practice was 'in crisis'.

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