Leading GP burnout expert Professor Clare Gerada has been appointed as co-chair of a new forum set up to oversee the delivery of the NHS long-term plan.
Former RCGP chair Professor Gerada will serve as clinical chair of the NHS assembly, while Professor Sir Chris Ham – ex-chief executive of think tank The King’s Fund – has been appointed as the non-clinical chair.
The assembly will be formed of around 50 people, including clinical experts, patient leaders and representatives from across the health and care sectors, who will meet to advise NHS England and NHS Improvement on delivering the long-term plan.
Professor Gerada is known for championing the importance of GPs’ physical and mental health.
As the medical director of the NHS Practitioner Health Programme (PHP) and the GP Health Service, Professor Gerada has helped thousands of GPs with mental illness recover and return to work. She has also set up a group for those left bereaved after a death by suicide or sudden unexpected death of a doctor.
She has also been very vocal on the impacts of cases such as the Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case, and last year called for more support for doctors who face patient complaints, claiming that ‘complaints kill doctors’.
Professor Gerada said:’I am absolutely delighted to be co-chairing the assembly and being part of shaping the implementation of the NHS plan. It’s a great honour for me. My appointment also illustrates the commitment the NHS leadership have for primary care.’
Professor Ham recently left his post at the King’s Fund think tank after eight years. Prior to this he was a professor of health policy and management at the Birmingham University for 18 years. He has advised the the Department of Health and Social Care, the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.
NHS Improvement chair Baroness Dido Harding said: ‘Like so many others do in so many different ways, Chris and Clare have dedicated their careers to the NHS, and care passionately about its future.
‘I look forward to working with them and the rest of the assembly members to ensure that our shared goals, as set out in the NHS long-term plan, are met.’
NHS England chair Lord David Prior said: ‘The long-term plan was drawn up by, and based on the contributions of, those who know the NHS best – staff, patients, the public and other health experts.
‘The NHS assembly provides a channel through which those voices can continue to be heard as we work towards delivering the ambitions that it sets out, and both Chris and Clare are exceptionally qualified to ensure that is the case.’