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At the heart of general practice since 1960

28. Dr Robert Varnam

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The £30m devoted to freeing GP time was not the most publicised aspect of the GP Forward View.

But the work led by Dr Varnam, NHS England head of general practice development, may bring real change, with his 10 ‘high-impact interventions’, including changing consultation methods, reducing DNAs, developing practice teams and increasing social prescribing.

Dr Varnam, who has been at the same inner-city Manchester practice for 19 years, says: ‘In the next year, I want every GP to be refreshed by knowing the profession’s pain has been taken seriously by the system, to be encouraged to see practical change taking place, and to discover ways to release time for care. We do need more but just doing more of the same won’t help us or our patients.’

One nominator said: ‘He is inside NHS England speaking general practice at the top table and is still a proud family doctor.’

Dr Varnam has also had influence over the whole of the GP Forward View, and is responsible for the unenviable task of selling seven-day routine GP access to a sceptical profession.

Why influential: Tasked with making a real difference to GP workload

Surprising fact: As a teenager, he had a trial for the Olympic swimming squad

  

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