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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP commissioning champion among heavyweights vying for RCGP presidency

Leading commissioning GP and influential health policy advisor Dr Michael Dixon has announced he is standing in the upcoming election for president of the RCGP.

Current RCGP Council members Professor Mayur Lakhani, Dr Terry Kemple and Dr Colin Hunter have also thrown their hats into the ring for the election, which opens on 5 May and runs until the end of May.

Dr Dixon – who practices in Devon – is chair of the NHS Alliance and also sits on the board of NHS Clinical Commissioners.

Council member Professor Lakhani – a past chair of the College – practices in Sileby, Leicestershire, and is on the board of NHS West Leicestershire CCG. He is also a leading expert in palliative care and chairs the influential Dying Matters Coalition.

Dr Hunter is currently chair of the RCGP’s trustee board and previously oversaw the college’s high-profile move to new headquarters in Euston Square when treasurer. Dr Hunter recently stood down as chair of the NICE QOF advisory committee.

Dr Kemple is a GP in Bristol, GP educator for the Severn Deanery and GP research champion for the NIHR Clinical Research Network West of England.

The new president will replace Professor Mike Pringle, emeritus professor of general practice at Nottingham University, who took up the role in 2012.

Readers' comments (54)

  • So the college will still be largely irrelevant then.

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  • it seems more of the same is what we're forced to vote for.

    The last time a GP actually could have made a real difference was, I'm sad to say, Una Coales.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Are we really interested in this matter?

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  • Una Coales

    Thank you for the mention @5:12 pm. I resigned the RCGP in 2014 in protest to the way BMEs and IMGs were forced to sit an actor CSA exam that fails 4x as many UK BMEs than white UK and 17x as many IMGs than white UK, will not record stations for fair appeals and will not test the examiners and actors for subconscious bias. It was that or face a kangaroo RCGP disciplinary for donating money to BAPIO's fight against discrimination, raising xmas funds for an IMG GP trainee's sons on my blog, expressing my views on CSA and unconscious bias, and fighting for CSA fairness.

    As I am not eligible to vote, may I suggest for those who are still members and would have voted for me had I run a third time, that you strongly consider voting for grassroots GP Dr Terry Kemple, who also ran for President in 2012. He was a GP trainer and is a cancer survivor. He is very down to earth and seeks transparency and accountability from the College.

    The RCGP nominations committee tried to ban me, Dr Kemple and a third GP from the Presidential ballot in 2012 before I got us put back on the ballot after pointing out how the committee had breached the college byelaws thanks to the generous help of a top charity lawyer who came to my aid. In short, vote for Kemple, who is NOT Establishment. He also happens to have sat in the same class at school as our Pulse Jobbing GP.

    Mayur Lakhani has been Chair of the RCGP. No need to run for President too. Too many accolades for one GP! Let's not make it a habit of making Chairs, Presidents, ie David Haslam was Chair and then President, Mike Pringle was Chair and then President. Why reward them with a portrait paid by college members?

    Colin Hunter was treasurer of the RCGP during the time the AKT and CSA were introduced in 2007 as the new MRCGP exam at huge cost to GP trainees. The old MRCGP modules were £190 for the MCQ and £300 for the 12 station simulated surgery with actors. He proposed the purchase of the Euston HQ building. Princes Gate sold for £36 million and he bought Euston for £34 million on behalf of the RCGP. I asked him if he could used the £2 million profit to reduce the high exam fees for GP trainees. He said there would be other costs and then surprise, surprise, told us on Council that renovation costs were an additional £40 million (including VAT)!

    He called me to the RCGP to invite me to join the RCGP MRCGP course franchise when the new exam was coming out. I refused. Guess what happened next? A GMC referral from the RCGP secretary in 2008 (who is now the RCGP Chair), Maureen Baker over my private MRCGP courses (I was their main competitor). I think Maureen may be voting for Colin Hunter for President, as he was treasurer when she was secretary. If you vote him for President, I will eat my hat. ;-)

    Will be watching this election with bemused interest. When I was running, past Chair Steve Field suggested I serve just 1 year instead of 3 if I won and that I pay for my own portrait! Yup, was definitely NOT Establishment material.

    The duties of a President are limited and the real power resides with the RCGP chair who is elected by the council and NOT by a national vote of all members. So whoever wins, will not be in a position to change the RCGP sadly.

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  • Who are they again?

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  • some points ...

    1. many of us are fed up with the RCGP and are not members and therefore can't vote.

    2. the RCGP DOES NOT represent all GPs (see 1.)

    3. will the vote or change matter? i.e. even if a more grass roots GP is selected will they have any say? or just be a figurehead / puppet / side-lined?

    4. I want to see a younger (under 50) working GP as it will be a break from the usual over 50 - 'I’ve got my pension guv and I’m OK but I’m going to tell you what to do' type of GP that currently run things.

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  • @Una Coales, Do I detect a hint of bitterness? Despite your rhetoric, you repeatedly failed to get elected to any Officer post at the RCGP and resigned before you became the first Member of Council to be expelled from the College for your conduct. You then 'resigned' from the BMA, practically the day after being elected.

    Have you ever thought it might be you? Or, questioned why others find it so difficult to work with you?

    And, the Chair of RCGP Council is nothing more than the College's public face. They have no real powers. The real power lies with the shadowy Board of Trustees - Colin Hunter and a cohort of lay members - and the omnipresent Honorary Treasurer controls the purse strings; and hence decrees what happens and what doesn't.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Tonight , I finally watched Rashomon (Director Akira Kurosawa's masterpiece )(羅生門)Full Movie (1950).
    Extraordinary movie with extraordinary metaphor and meaning.
    Highly recommended.
    Freely available on You Tube. Just type the movie name on search .

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  • Una Coales

    @Peter Howe I was the top ranked RCGP nationally elected council rep out of 21 running for the 2009-2012 term which I served for 3 years. All council reps back then were college trustees, officers of the College. I was re-elected in 2012 to the RCGP Council. Do get your facts straight. As a college trustee, I asked Colin Hunter for costings of the CSA exam, asked that a back statement be added to the risk of HS2 to the Capital Appeal, etc. as a trustee should do and wrote the chief examiner and chair on CSA on behalf of GP trainees who contacted me.

    The College then changed the structure of the trustee board from council to devolved power to the current smaller trustee board of 12 composed of the Chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer (ie Council executive committee), chair of the trustee board, 2 council reps and lay members. I was 1 of 2 GPs at the SGM who voted against devolving power to a smaller trustee board as I feared this would disenfranchise members who could not vote for these trustees.

    Not only is Maureen Baker, the RCGP Chair of Council but she is also a member of the 12 trustee board alongside Colin Hunter, the treasurer and Mike Pringle, the last Chair of the Trustee Board when I was on Council. Yes the trustee board of 12 make the decisions (council executive committee, chair of TB, 2 council reps and lay TB members), and the council appear to rubber stamp them. Council members, however, can raise motions to council. Rules have been changed now so the Chair of Council may refuse any motion from being presented.

    I predict Mayur Lakhani will win as President as it is has historically been a past Chair who wins this seat.

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