13. Dr Krishna Kasaraneni
GP in the hot seat
Dr Krishna Kasaraneni is relatively new to the GPC, but he has probably one of the hottest seats – chairing its education, training and workforce subcommittee.
Despite this, he remains a very cool customer, leading some delicate negotiations to reverse the workforce crisis in general practice this year and deliver the fabled 5,000 new GPs promised by the Government. And this sharp South Yorkshire GP has not minced his words – memorably saying that the health secretary would need a ‘Back to the Future-style DeLorean’ to deliver his promise.
Colleagues say he is a ’great spokesman with good integrity’; that he provides ‘rapid and evidence-based challenging of Hunt’s crazy workforce claims; and that he is ‘already establishing himself as a credible leader’. It is these leadership qualities that mean he is able to get things done.
Dr Kasaraneni was part of the team that put together Health Education England’s 10-point strategy to improve GP recruitment with a mixture of ‘golden hellos’, a new returners scheme and £10m of new funding. He says: ‘Despite lack of significant, sustainable funding, being tasked to lead on the future of the workforce and come up with workable solutions that can be implemented was a challenge.’
And this challenge will continue, as he tries to make the case that the Government needs to do much more to boost the GP workforce. He also has to cope with falling numbers of medical graduates wanting to join the profession.
Outside of this, Dr Kasaraneni has a long list of objectives: greater fairness in postgraduate exams, pressuring medical schools to increase their focus on general practice, and – in his role as chair of the BMA’s equality and inclusion committee – increasing diversity in medical leadership.
Dr Kasaraneni says: ‘The focus of my work is mainly on doing things to support my colleagues on the ground better.’ And this is the reason why he is often spoken of as a potential future GPC chair.