RCGP chair-elect pledges to reclaim dignity of general practice

RCGP chair-elect Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard has pledged to use her three-year term leading the college to secure investment in general practice across the UK to build a 'stable, sustainable' service that GPs can be proud to work in.

Dr Stokes-Lampard, who takes over from outgoing chair Dr Maureen Baker on 19 November, told the RCGP annual conference in Harrogate on Saturday that she understood the pain GPs across the UK had been feeling in recent years and months.

The small GMS practice in Lichfield, Staffordshire where she works half-time as a partner had experienced the same pressure, she told the conference.

'Like every GP in the room, we have been feeling the pain recently. The pain of lack of resource, lack of understanding and relentless hounding from those who control the purse strings.

'I get it because I live it every single week. I will remain a coalface GP through my term in office - I need to remain grounded and up to date.'

Video: watch RCGP conference speeches in full

Across the UK, the solutions to the problems GPs face were the same, she told the conference: 'More GPs, more allied health professionals and a greater share of NHS resource.'

The RCGP chair-elect said that she would not embark on 'pet projects' during her term in office, and pledged to press on with the college's current  campaign to secure adequate funding for the profession.

'I intend to see our "Put patients first: back general practice" campaign through to its natural conclusion.

'When we have concrete promises from all four UK nations that substantional additional resource is coming to general practice. When we see the tangible benfits of those promises, when the hard cash reaches the frontline, when GP numbers really are on the increase, when UK general practice is stable, sustainable and operating effectively to deliver a service GPs are proud to work in again.

Dr Stokes-Lampard paid tribute to her predecessor, the 'amazing Maureen Baker', and told GPs she would rely on their feedback, insight and wisdom during her term in office.

'I want to reclaim the dignity of all GPs and restore the joy to our professional lives,' she told the conference.

Full coverage of RCGP annual conference

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