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At the heart of general practice since 1960

16. Professor Martin Roland

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Professor Roland may be one of the UK’s foremost GP academics, but he is unusual in that his ideas are often so sensible that they are rolled out immediately by policy makers. Just months after he chaired a commission on the primary care workforce, the GP Forward View announced funding to implement his recommendations to use a wider range of practice staff.

Professor Roland was summed up by one nominator as: ‘Reflective and wise with the ear of the leadership at DH and NHS England.’ His influence extends far from the University of Cambridge, where he is professor of health services research.

His aim this year is to continue pressuring NHS England and Government into implementing his recommendations that practices look at using physician associates and pharmacists to see patients, medical assistants to take on paperwork and/or paramedics to do home visits.

But his main idea for changing general practice for the better is changing the mood music around the profession: ‘The negative impact of social media in which the voice of the many GPs enjoying doing a wonderful job are silent. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a crisis - there is. But we need young doctors to see what a wonderful career being a GP can be.’

Why influential: His ideas will bear fruit this year, backed by new funding

Surprising fact: Chairs the art committee of Murray Edwards Cambridge College, which has Europe’s leading collection of contemporary art by women

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