In a keynote speech to this year's RCGP Annual Conference in Harrogate, he said: 'Years ago there was only one GP visible in the upper echelons of the Department of Health. That has completely changed, and what you see now is GPs absolutely at the forefront of policy-making.
'I have heard the chief executives of hospitals and people at the top saying that when we sell hospitals we should use the money to build GP surgeries and GP infrastructures. I have heard that Plan A, B and C, is primary care.'
Sir Sam said the change of direction had come from the emphasis on primary care in the NHS Five Year Forward View: 'This has been, in a sense, a sea-change. In my 30 years as a GP, it was a new approach to how we were going to deliver healthcare in the future.'
He added that across his local health and social care economy of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, in East London, a 33% expansion in primary care was required over the next five years.
Click here for more news from this year's RCGP Annual Conference, and watch videos of all the keynote speakers at the conference website.