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RCGP appoints 29 GP ‘ambassadors’ to advance Forward View

The RCGP has appointed 29 GPs as ‘regional ambassadors’ to ‘help ensure that the 108 proposals outlined in NHS England’s GP Forward View are implemented.’

The ambassadors will represent general practice on the recently established Sustainability and Transformation Programme (STP) boards across England, which are ‘key to making decisions about the NHS at a local level,’ the College said. 

According to the RCGP, their role will be to maximise investment in general practice at a local level, track developments, and make sure that GPs have a very strong voice in the GP Forward View across England, as well as helping the College monitor progress overall.

Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP chair, said: ‘The GP Forward View is a lifeline for general practice, at a time when our profession is struggling with increasing patient demand, decreasing resources and not enough GPs and practice staff. But there is now a huge amount of work to do to ensure that the ambitions set out in the GP Forward View are delivered.

‘Much of this work will take place at a local level, and so it is vital that STPs have a strong local GP voice on their boards linking them directly to primary care. The new network of Regional Ambassadors will offer an informed GP perspective; something that is all too often overlooked.’

Dr Kirsty Baldwin, regional ambassador and a salaried inner-city GP in Leeds, said: ‘The GP Forward View represents an exciting and empowering opportunity for general practice and it is vitally important that we take that opportunity. We are all frontline GPs, and as ambassadors we will be making the most of our local expertise to ensure that the promises in the GP Forward View are delivered and the effects are felt on the ground.’

The ambassadors were recruited with the job title ‘RCGP ambassador – forward view’ – although the college was at pains at the time to point out they were not meant to ‘promote’ the GP Forward View.

The RCGP says it will pay back-fill costs for GPs to attend one session a week – or a fee in the event that the GP is not in full-time employment – and will also have monthly meetings with college leaders. You can find more details of the regional ambassadors on the RCGP website