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Gold, incentives and meh

'The RCGP has become complacent'

Dr Terry Kemple on why he is standing for RCGP president

It’s a crisis - general practice is at a tipping point. The NHS will fail if general practice doesn’t find a way to survive and prosper. This crisis should have been anticipated years ago by the senior GPs at the heart of the College and actions taken in those lost years to avert this workforce and workload crisis.

The RCGP used to be a visionary college for its members that mapped out the exciting future for general practice. It’s become more like a complacent corporation that mostly provides membership services and as such has reacted too little and too late to the many causes of the current crisis.

My hopes are that we can create an interest and discussion in this election so that:

- More than 25% of members vote

- Most members vote for me

- Members give me the democratic mandate to influence the inner sanctum of the RCGP

- We can plan our way out of this crisis. Sensible options for the duration of the crisis are that the college prioritises the following:

1 Reducing our workload by stating what we can safely stop doing.

2 Ensuring that the medical schools and NHS start to produce enough GPs for the future.

3 Finding the best ways to provide essential general practice efficiently and effectively and spread that best practice faster.

As a non-political organisation whose purpose is high quality care the RCGP has the authority and evidence base to demand the changes we need to save general practice and the NHS.

I have been an active member of the RCGP since 1980 and in 2013 was elected nationally as a member of the RCGP Council where I try to make the College more relevant for all its members. I’ve worked full time as a GP for over 30 years. I’ve had leading roles in teaching, training, research, management, appraisals, building premises, starting an OOH cooperative, gaining fellowship of RCGP by assessment, doing the RCGP quality practice award three times, starting a multi-practice federation, being active in our local faculty, representing our College and much more.

I’ve had sabbaticals, worked as a GP in New Zealand, exchanged practice with a GP in Australia, and studied at Harvard how to improve the performance of physicians. My last sabbatical explored how to find and spread best practice faster. The answer? Find yourself a better network.

I’ve enjoyed a great life in general practice. Now I’ve taken my NHS pension but continue to work part time in my practice and elsewhere.

My blog Frequently Unasked Questions in General Practice ( summarises what I’ve learned. For the next month I will be adding President of the RCGP FUQs (PRCGP FUQs). You can email me your questions at or via twitter @TKemple.

Dr Terry Kemple is a GP in Bristol, GP educator for the Severn Deanery and GP research champion for the NIHR Clinical Research Network West of England.

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Readers' comments (9)

  • As someone who works with Terry within Bristol GP Education, I can say he is a breath of fresh air when it comes to challenging the establishment. We need more GPs like Terry who are willing to challenge the status quo and question ideas that have been in existence for centuries.

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  • Commendable. I do hope the/a candidate is made of steel not the wool of current ditherings. Less wine and cheese boards and charging of fees for everything with not even a free annual conferance. Parking the invested interest incestuous gatherings of committee on committee, may also dealienate this office block from grassroot general practice toils.

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  • Bob Hodges

    I voted for Terry last time and will do so again!

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  • Yes please someone with a backbone who doesn't just ask 'how high ?' If Government / DOH say 'jump !'.
    Let your 'no' be 'no' and your 'yes' be 'yes'.

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  • we voted for terry Kemple too!

    we will support you.

    - anonymous salaried!

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  • I like the honesty here, fresh of air. New GP.

    From the RCGP website: "Success in the MRCGP exam confirms GP trainees meet RCGP membership requirements...for general practice".
    Cost = £477.00 + £1602.00 (more if you fail!).
    YOU PASS THE TEST - THEY THEN GIVE YOU A POOR CRUMPLED ROLLED UP PAPER (not even embossed!) certificate, charge your family for a ceremony to attend to shake someones hand, then say you need to pay annually to retain those letters???? What a privilege.
    The vision and business model of the RCGP is horrendously flawed.

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  • “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”
    This is why some organisations do not perform well.If decent intelligent people have the opportunity to run them, those organisations would flourish with progressive excellence.
    Dr Terry Kemple's profile seems credible than some of the stagnant mediocres whose primary objective demonstrated to be self preservation than altruism.

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  • As a member I agree that the RCGP is a completely useless organisation charging high fees for minimal return.However whoever wins the election will at least get value for money by being able to add 'President RCGP' to their cv and at least get some recompense for their fees over the years!

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  • Do we really need another figurehead for general practice who has taken a retirement and pension and automatically becomes more remote from the pressures the rest of us face whether they continue to practice or not?

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