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23. Dr Agnelo Fernandes

Urgent care pioneer

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Dr Agnelo Fernandes comes in at number 23 in the 2013 Pulse Power 50. He is a new entry in the list.

It’s been quite a year for Dr Agnelo Fernandes, urgent care lead and national clinical commissioning champion at the RCGP.

As chair of the governance group that oversaw the development of the troubled pathways used for NHS 111, he has had a struggle to put the case forward for the troubled helpline.

He has maintained that NHS 111 will benefit patient safety in the long-term said ‘it is an invaluable tool for commissioners to help design their services locally, as well as making better use of a nurse and GP workforce that is in short supply’ - a point of view that has not always been supported by his GP colleagues.

He is also an adviser to NHS England on their review of urgent care, and he has been a powerful GP voice battling against Government’s attempts to blame GPs for the A&E crisis.

Hey says: ‘The best moment was to challenge and win this argument and see the faces of hospital colleagues that the evidence in fact shows no significant increase is numbers attending A&E nor emergency admissions.’

With the NHS England review to report next year and out-of-hours responsibility set to dominate GP contract negotiations, the reasoned analysis from Dr Fernandes of the problems affecting urgent care will be badly needed.

He says that his biggest challenge for the coming year will be to maintain the impetus of clinical commissioning to ‘transform’ the NHS and motivating GPs and practices to ‘think and work differently to re-design the model of general practice, to create headroom to be responsive yet anticipatory and preventative to reduce GP stress while improving the service to patients and to reduce variation between practices.’

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