Newly-appointed BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey has been named the most influential GP in the UK in Pulse’s annual Power 50 list.
Dr Vautrey scooped the top slot from last year’s leader Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, who chairs the RCGP.
House of Commons Health Committee chair Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, who was just re-elected in her position following June’s general election, makes up the top three.
Dr Vautrey, a member of the GPC since 2004 and deputy chair since 2012, has been described as the power behind the scenes, but this year he was elected to the top role.
He will be overseeing, on behalf of the profession, the search for an urgent solution to the GP indemnity cost crisis, which he has said will make the profession ‘untenable’ by autumn, as well as the BMA’s potential bid to seek mass GP list closures to highlight the crisis in general practice.
Dr Vautrey will also be promoting an updated version to the BMA’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice, the list of demands which NHS England has previously agreed to work to put in place in a bid to save the profession from the brink.
On the topic of change, Dr Vautrey told Pulse: ‘We need to see a change of philosophy at government level so it genuinely invests properly in general practice.’
The Power 50 list was put together following hundreds of nominations from GP colleagues. And although the top influential position is scooped by a veteran, this year’s Pulse Power 50 has a large number of new names on it compared to last year – 17 in total.
New entrants include the BBC’s resident GP expert Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who jumps straight into the top 10 at number eight in the list, as well as Babylon Health medical director Dr Mobasher Butt at number 12, whose fast-growing company offers private online video and telephone GP consulations and an NHS 111 triage system.
In addition to the main list, Pulse’s 2017 list also includes 10 rising stars, GPs under the age of 40 who are having an increasing influence on the profession, as well as eight local heroes who are making a real difference on the ground.
Rising stars this year include media GP Dr Faye Kirkland; perinatal mental health campaigner Dr Carrie Ladd; and rural GP champion Dr David Hogg, while colleagues nominated local heroes including Islay GP Dr Kate Pickering; Grenfell Tower GP Dr Ahmed Kazmi; and deprived inner-city GP Dr Manir Aslam.
Pulse editor Nigel Praities said: ‘From the Inner Hebrides to the hills of Hampshire, many GPs on this list offer inspiring examples of achieving great things despite difficult circumstances. But this is just a sample; there are 45,000 GPs across the country working hard to make their profession and their practice better. They also deserve a pat on the back.’