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New BMA GP committee chair named most powerful GP in UK

Newly-appointed BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey has been named the most influential GP in the UK in Pulse’s annual Power 50 list.

Dr Vautrey scooped the top slot from last year’s leader Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, who chairs the RCGP.

House of Commons Health Committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who was just re-elected in her position following June's general election, makes up the top three.

Dr Vautrey, a member of the GPC since 2004 and deputy chair since 2012, has been described as the power behind the scenes, but this year he was elected to the top role. 

He will be overseeing, on behalf of the profession, the search for an urgent solution to the GP indemnity cost crisis, which he has said will make the profession 'untenable' by autumn, as well as the BMA's potential bid to seek mass GP list closures to highlight the crisis in general practice.

Dr Vautrey will also be promoting an updated version to the BMA's Urgent Prescription for General Practice, the list of demands which NHS England has previously agreed to work to put in place in a bid to save the profession from the brink.

On the topic of change, Dr Vautrey told Pulse: ‘We need to see a change of philosophy at government level so it genuinely invests properly in general practice.'

The Power 50 list was put together following hundreds of nominations from GP colleagues. And although the top influential position is scooped by a veteran, this year's Pulse Power 50 has a large number of new names on it compared to last year - 17 in total.

New entrants include the BBC's resident GP expert Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who jumps straight into the top 10 at number eight in the list, as well as Babylon Health medical director Dr Mobasher Butt at number 12, whose fast-growing company offers private online video and telephone GP consulations and an NHS 111 triage system.

In addition to the main list, Pulse's 2017 list also includes 10 rising stars, GPs under the age of 40 who are having an increasing influence on the profession, as well as eight local heroes who are making a real difference on the ground.

Rising stars this year include media GP Dr Faye Kirkland; perinatal mental health campaigner Dr Carrie Ladd; and rural GP champion Dr David Hogg, while colleagues nominated local heroes including Islay GP Dr Kate Pickering; Grenfell Tower GP Dr Ahmed Kazmi; and deprived inner-city GP Dr Manir Aslam.

Pulse editor Nigel Praities said: 'From the Inner Hebrides to the hills of Hampshire, many GPs on this list offer inspiring examples of achieving great things despite difficult circumstances. But this is just a sample; there are 45,000 GPs across the country working hard to make their profession and their practice better. They also deserve a pat on the back.' 

Readers' comments (16)

  • How can you be called the most powerful GP if you are heading an organization that has 'no balls'? Look at the state we are in - is that what a powerful organization would have allowed. BMA is more like an arm of the government with occasional revolts to keep the masses happy and does have its small victories but only if the government allows. Dwindling membership and offers of free membership are a sign of our times and the reputation of BMA.

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  • Vinci Ho

    Mmmm
    Reflected a bit on what I wrote before . Richard said general practice was 'untenable' because of the indemnity . That is perhaps classified as ' negativity' . On the other hand, Helen advocated no negativity in front of trainees.
    Richard now comes first , Helen second .
    Intriguing.....

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  • Vinci Ho

    And Sarah , if you quit your party , you will top the league next year.

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  • How many would be on the list if they had to do the job and see patients (more than 1 or 2 sessions per month) to be nominated?

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  • ha! powerful GP. honest politician. struggling banker. wealthy nurse. honest health secretary....

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  • Is this a game of Top Trumps?
    What does HSL score on 'political nous'?
    What does Wollaston score on integrity? (You can trust us with the NHS etc)

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  • The issue is power,the question is over whom, to do what?
    HSL chairs the organisation with the power to deny access to general practice.
    SW has the power to speak to those who decide policy,though to what extent this has any effect, is too closely guarded a secret, to make any judgement.
    RV holds no madate from members of the BMA,let alone from GP's,his election makes N Korea look democratic,it is unclear as to whether any GP listens to his opinion let alone follows his advice
    There is not a shred of evidence to suggest anyone in Whitehall gives a jot for his views.
    What one wonders does the editor understand by the word power?

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  • I have power, power to stop contributing to this ineffectual unions power, and power to stop my RCGP subs.This will be the year I will exercise my power if the keep performing as they are.The power to stop my direct debits.

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  • This list has nothing to do with power.....just who happens to have received some press coverage in the past 12months....sorry Pulse ......completely OTT!

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  • Sarah Wollaston is not a GP. The GMC website lists her as being registered without a licence to practise. I thought this was meant to be a list of 'influential GPs' rather than ex-GPs???

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