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At the heart of general practice since 1960

7. Professor Simon Gregory

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As Health Education England lead for general practice, this Northampton GP is responsible for delivering 5,000 additional GPs by 2020. The target has been modified to include GPs in training, but still remains a massive challenge as application rates tumble.

You may remember the infamous ‘Nothing General’ promotional video showing a GP filling in a skydiving form for a patient. This may have attracted criticism from the profession, but there has been a modest uptick in the number of filled GP trainee places this year.

Professor Gregory says he hopes to ensure that general practice thrives this year: ‘I wish to support a vision of general practice that is so exciting junior doctors choose to be GPs and we all have rewarding careers again.’

However, he has a mountain to climb. A Pulse analysis earlier this year showed that the 5,000 new GPs target may be missed by as much as half. Schemes like the £20k ‘golden hellos’ in deprived areas may provide an incentive to medical graduates, but Pulse has revealed that Health Education England is now looking to Europe to import hundreds of fully formed GPs to make up the numbers.

Why influential: Future of the profession lies in his hands

Surprising fact: His hero is Jonny Wilkinson (‘even though he doesn’t play for Northampton Saints’)

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