'I am ready to lead and champion general practice'
Professor Mayur Lakhani on why he is standing for RCGP president
I am proud to be a GP and proud of the work that GPs do. Thank you for the extraordinary contribution that you all make in so many ways not only in delivering clinical general practice but also in education, teaching, research, assessment and leadership. One million people are seen in general practice every working day. GPs are the backbone of the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Without GPs, the NHS would collapse.
I know just how difficult things are at the moment. I understand your concerns about long hours, relentless demand and a workforce crisis. Medical students are shunning general practice as a career. Experienced GPs are thinking of leaving. If you are a first five GP, I know you face far too many obstacles in pursuing a fulfilling career.
I say enough is enough. That is why I am standing for president - as a working GP - to lead the fight back by making the strongest possible case for general practice and for us to be valued. I am ready to lead and champion general practice. All GPs must be given the right support to be the best doctors they can be. You deserve that support.
As your president, I will therefore make careers and the recruitment and retention of GPs the number one priority. What we need is a portfolio career structure that is fair, progressive, and rewarding, and one which values everyone including the ‘Last Five’ - GPs aged 55-60.
In this way we can create opportunity for all GPs regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or employment status. Whether you are a locum or partner, or a sessional portfolio GP, I want you to succeed and thrive. Happy doctors make for happy patients.
I genuinely believe that this is a time of great opportunity to lead and champion general practice. The GP as an expert generalist is the key to the future of the NHS and the practice is the building block and the hub for an integrated care system. I am proud of the NHS
As president, I want to represent the concerns and issues that matter most to members and faculties. The College is its members and faculties. I want the College to flourish wherever it is found, be it in Scotland, In England, In Wales, in Northern Ireland and internationally.
Being president requires an in-depth understanding of the RCGP which I have acquired in a career spanning 20 years at local and national levels. I was newsletter editor, council representative and faculty chair in Leicester. I was Chair of Council from 2004-2007 when I advocated the concept of federations in our ‘roadmap’.
I graduated from the University of Dundee Medical School in 1983. I have been a GP for 24 years in Sileby, near Loughborough. Our practice has won awards for quality, including the 2014 national long term conditions team of the year. We have a longstanding PPG and we are part of a federation. As CCG lead, I pioneered a scheme for palliative care which is now used by over 100 practices. I am also a trustee and Chairman of The National Council for Palliative Care (finishing in September 2015) leading the Dying Matters campaign.
Things can be better. Things can change. Things are improving. Imagine a future where there is freedom to practice clinical medicine without ticking boxes or fear of complaints and where, because of the renaissance of general practice that we can create, there is a surge of applications for GP training.
I believe we can do this. If anyone can do this, we can. We are at a turning point and now is the time for the strongest possible leadership. That is why this election is crucial. Make sure you exercise your right to vote.
We can renew general practice by pursuing a progressive agenda that builds on our core values – quality, continuity, evidence and holistic care. Renewal requires working for better quality for patients, more support and resources for practices and improving the daily working lives of GPs to improve.
If I am elected it will be an honour to represent the profession as president of the college. I would promote the college as a trusted guide to learning, support and innovation throughout a GP’s career to build resilience.
Bringing GPs together to make a united stand is my goal. I will therefore do my best to be every GP’s president. Together we can create the best days for general practice.
Professor Mayur Lakhani is a practicing GP in Leicestershire, and is also chair of the National Council for Palliative Care.