GPC chair election: meet the candidates

The contest to become GPC chair stepped up a gear this week after the first female candidates stepped forward with a joint bid to job-share the role.

Elections for the next GPC chair will be held on 18 July
Elections for the next GPC chair will be held on 18 July

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage and Birmingham GP Dr Fay Wilson, chief executive at out-of-hours provider Badger, came forward after most of the all-male negotiating team confirmed they were standing.

The duo told GP they want to take the GPC off the 'back foot' in negotiations with the government and to make GPs proud of what they do on a daily basis.

Below are statements given to GP by the candidates about why they decided to run, although these are not the official candidate statements.

Nominations close on 5 July. The vote takes place at a GPC meeting on 18 July when candidates will read out their official statements.

Dr Michelle Drage and Dr Fay Wilson, GPC members

‘What we want to do is to get much more empowerment for GPs in what they do.

'This is about GPs, LMCs and the future of general practice. Between us we embody so much experience on those fronts that we have the ability to offer a huge amount.

‘So much depends on good communication, using different types of media to get our views across to everyone who has a stake in general practice.

‘Negotiations, if we look back, have been about resistance, fighting, saying "we don’t like this. They have been very reactive and on the back foot.

‘We would have a much more persuasive style, "how can we help you to help us?"

‘What we are offering is a change, to be more constructive, to succeed. Always being under attack has been very exhaustive for the GPC and for the profession.’

Dr Dean Marshall, GPC negotiator

‘My view is that I have been a successful chairman of the Scottish GPC and I am best placed to lead the UK GPC.

‘I have got experience of chairing a national committee. I was chairman of the Scottish GPC for six years. I had successful chairmanship where I was able to negotiate successfully and I believe that I can do that for GPs across England. I was able to mitigate some of the more damaging aspects to the GP contract and I believe that I have the experience and ability to go for it.

‘I was elected as a UK negotiator last year so I would appear to have a level of support from the GPC.

‘We need to have a change of emphasis and a change in the way we negotiate with government, and I believe that my way of negotiating with the government in Scotland would serve me well.

‘Everyone has a different personality. I know what works and what isn’t effective. I can see some areas where I would want to change the emphasis of negotiations.

‘The ability to be a good negotiator is to adapt.

‘I have been a member of the UK negotiating team for seven years.'

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC negotiator

'I passionately believe in the greatness of UK general practice, and find it tragic that it is currently under siege - attacked by media and politicians, starved of resources, expected to do more for less, with GPs feeling devalued, overworked and exhausted.

'I want to lead a GPC that visibly stands up for GPs and general practice, to rebut and challenge head on the mistruths that malign us, and publicise the extraordinary work GPs do and the immense value we provide to the NHS on a shoestring. My immediate priority is to tackle the crisis of unresourced workload shift and saturation, to ease the pain for GPs and provide us with the resources, time and capacity to provide the care our patients deserve.

'I will fight for general practice to gets its fair increased share of the NHS cake, and for politicians to finally grasp that this itself is key to reducing NHS pressures. I wish GPC to lead a vision and strategy beyond the current battles, that defines a positive future for general practice, fit for purpose, sustainable, with manageable workload and just rewards, and is in touch with everyday GPs.

'I believe in fairness and opportunity for all GPs, regardless of contractual status, to play their full part in general practice. I am rooted in the grassroots perspective, as a jobbing GP and on my LMC for over 20 years. I bring solid and wide experience, serving on GPC since 1996, on BMA Council since 2008, and previously on RCGP Council for 11 years. I believe I have the experience, knowledge, skills and attributes to be the right person to lead GPC at this challenging time.'

Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chairman

‘I'm standing because I believe I have the experience and skills to lead the profession. I know that GPs are feeling battered by the constant negative stories and political attacks and overwhelmed by unrelenting workload.

'I believe we need to empower GPs to take greater control of their workload and work-life, to become both more able to resist an unresourced workload shift, but also more able to develop their practices when resources are available to do so.

‘We need to be bolder at making the case for general practice and engage more directly with patients in doing this. I believe I can help restore the confidence and morale of the profession as we win these arguments.

‘I've been a negotiator since 2004 and a member of GPC since 2001. I've been deputy chair since 2007. In addition I've been both secretary and now assistant secretary for Leeds LMC since 1999.’

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