RCGP chair backed to overhaul London primary care

The appointment of RCGP chairwoman Professor Clare Gerada to develop plans to transform GP services in London has been welcomed by the medical director of Londonwide LMCs.

Professor Clare Gerada: set to lead overhaul of London primary care
Professor Clare Gerada: set to lead overhaul of London primary care

Professor Gerada, whose three-year term as RCGP chairwoman ends in November, has been appointed clinical chair for primary care transformation in London by NHS England.

Full details on what the role will involve will be published in the coming weeks, but a spokeswoman for NHS England London Region said the organisation was 'delighted' with the appointment. She said: 'NHS England has published a document entitled Improving General Practice – a call to action, which sets the case for improving primary care services nationwide.

'As part of this national call to action, the London region is also mobilising a programme of work for the transformation of GP services in the capital. This will be clinically led, with Dr Gerada playing a key role as clinical chair, and it will also incorporate a strong patient voice.'

Londonwide LMCs medical director Dr Tony Grewal told GP: 'Clare Gerada is an incredibly capable person with energy, drive a record of achievement and is very pro-general practice. I have confidence in her as an individual. The transformation programme can be a huge threat or an opportunity and we look forward to working with her on delivering a vision to secure the future of general practice and protect it.'

Professor Gerada suggested earlier this week that the future of the independent contractor model of general practice should be debated, adding later on Twitter that it was a 'millstone'.

Dr Grewal said he was 'well aware' of pressure to integrate services and that this could pose challenges. 'Nothing is written in stone,' he admitted. 'My own opinion is that the independent contractor model is a good one, but given the pressure, financial and otherwise, that the government is under we need to look at all opportunities and all pathways.'

NHS England's London review will be working in partnership with the London Health Board led by Boris Johnson, London Clinical Commissioning Council, Londonwide LMCs, London councils, and the RCGP.

The NHS England spokeswoman added: 'Primary care in London faces unique challenges due to the diverse population it serves. NHS England is working to improve services across the capital, ensuring all Londoners receive the best care possible. Dr Gerada’s wealth of expertise will assist with this, and her appointment is great news for London.'

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