48. Dr Robert Morley
Dr Morley has been a stalwart of local medicopolitics over the years in his role as secretary of Birmingham LMC. This year, he has seen a lot more practices requiring resilience support, and has had to contend with Babylon’s GP at Hand registering patients on his patch – a move he has countered by championing the digital technology available to his member practices.
But even more important is his role within the BMA’s GP Committee as contracts and regulations lead – a role he is stepping down from after six years. He was one of the first to forsee the problems with Capita taking over primary care support services – predicting, with Brummy eloquence, an ‘absolute bloody disaster’.
He has brought about meaningful change in his final year with the GPC. He lists his favourite moment as getting NHS England to confirm that all practices must be properly reimbursed for cover for GPs on phased return from sick leave; ‘many local commissioners were disgracefully denying practices thousands of pounds to which they were legally entitled’.
It gives him more time to spend on local issues. As one nominator put it: ‘He is a strong steady supporter of general practice in the Midlands and nationally, never hesitates to call out systemic shortcomings of NHS England, Capita, the Department of Health and Social Care, HMG’.
Why influential: A local hero who makes change at national level
What he says: ‘Some say I tell the world’s worst dad jokes. They don’t understand my comic genius.’
Random fact: Has a phobia of revolving doors