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RCGP honorary secretary elected as vice chair

The RCGP council has elected current honorary secretary Professor Amanda Howe and Dr Tim Ballard as vice-chairs following overwhelming victories in a ballot last week.

Professor Howe, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia and a sessional GP in Norwich, has been elected vice chair for external affairs after receiving 46 votes to 17 cast for Dr Mary Lowth, a GP in East Anglia at an election at the RCGP council meeting on Friday.  

She hit the headlines with her view that GP consultations should be lengthened to 30 minutes and she authored the RCGP report that called for general practice to be redefined as a specialism.  

Dr Ballard, a GP in Wiltshire, was elected vice chair for professional development, beating challenger Dr Andy Spooner by 49 votes to 12. Dr Ballard was elected to RCGP council last year.

They will both take up their roles in November, to work with chair-elect Dr Maureen Baker. Dr Baker was elected chair in May ahead of Dr Steve Mowle.

Neil Hunt, the RCGP chief executive and council returning officer, praised Dr Ballard and Professor Howe, thanking all four candidates for ‘contesting the roles and making this a truly fair and open contest’.

Readers' comments (7)

  • 63 votes cast to a Vice Chair of the RCGP? Democracy is clearly alive and well at the College. Why are they so scared of allowing the 46,000 membership a say?

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  • This is the first election for about 3 years the College hasn't screwed up. Well done RCGP!

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  • Self-perpetuating oligarchy that is of no consequence to grassroots GPs.

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  • "...overwhelming victories...". Please!

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  • The winners are truly excellent GPs. I do wonder about the organisation though - why not an open ballot of membership? Why the Electoral College of the committee-sitting elite? Why so scared of their members? (and how many members in good standing do they actually have, not just people who have got MRCGP at some stage in their careers - their financial woes do make me wonder about this). Incidentally, no the RCGP does NOT represent general practice - the BMA/GPC does that - they represent a view of academic general practice and they may represent those who are willing members, not the trainees who are dragooned into paying astronomical college fees to be allowed to start practice.

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  • I thought the RCGP already had a Chair of the Professional Development Board? Has this person been sacked to be replaced by Prof. Howe? Or are they playing musical chairs and they will be handed the Hon. Sec. role?

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  • Corrupt, morally repugnant and undemocratic. I hope the new Chair can turn the College into a more transparent and accountable organisation that is focussed on helping the grassroots, rather than lobbying. Leave policy to the BMA/GPC and stop fleecing trainees

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