GPC election remains two-way race as vote nears, BMA confirms

The BMA has confirmed that just two candidates are in the running to replace outgoing GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, with no further GPs putting themselves forward ahead of a vote on Thursday.

Dr Richard Vautrey (l) and Dr Mark Sanford Wood (r) set to challenge for GPC role (Photos: JH Lancy; Wilde Fry)
Dr Richard Vautrey (l) and Dr Mark Sanford Wood (r) set to challenge for GPC role (Photos: JH Lancy; Wilde Fry)

The two candidates understood to be vying for the post are current acting GPC chair Dr Richard Vautrey and current GPC executive team member Dr Mark Sanford-Wood.

Members of the BMA's GP committee will vote on Thursday to elect a successor to Dr Nagpaul, after a process in which candidates are not permitted to campaign publicly. Dr Nagpaul is stepping down as GPC chair after being elected chair of the BMA.

Dr Vautrey has served as deputy to two GPC chairs - Dr Nagpaul and his predecessor Dr Laurence Buckman. The Leeds GP was also a negotiator under Dr Hamish Meldrum's chairmanship of the GPC and has been a GPC member since 2001.

GPC executive

Devon GP Dr Sanford-Wood had been a GPC member for five years when he was appointed to the GPC executive team last year.

Both candidates have spoken out strongly about the crisis facing general practice. Dr Vautrey told the BMA annual representative meeting in Bournemouth earlier this year that the crisis facing the profession was 'too deep and widespread' to be solved by measures set out in the GP Forward View, warning that the plans were too complex and often 'tinkering at the edges' of problems facing GPs.

Dr Sanford-Wood wrote ahead of this year's LMCs conference in Glasgow that there was no margin for error in delivery of support for general practice promised in the GP Forward View. He said it was vital that NHS England's leadership realised the perilous state general practice was in, and that it delivered meaningful support through local and regional staff across England.

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