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Gerada defies Field challenge on health bill

Exclusive RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada faced down ‘scathing' criticism of her leadership from predecessor Professor Steve Field at a meeting of RCGP Council earlier this month – winning support for her robust approach from senior members of the college.

The backing for Dr Gerada came as BMA chair Dr Hamish Meldrum survived a confidence vote at last week's BMA Council meeting, after responding to a vote of censure from BMA London by demanding BMA Council either back him or sack him.

An RCGP source, who asked not be named, said Dr Gerada had won ‘majority' support for her stance over the health bill at the RCGP Council meeting: ‘The debate showed majority, but not unanimous, backing for Dr Gerada. One of her most scathing critics was Steve Field. The meeting showed the stark differences between the two.'

Dr Una Coales, a GP in Stockwell, south London, said: ‘Most Council members, but not all, were in support of Dr Gerada and her stance on the health bill. Steve Field expressed his conflict of interest as leader of the NHS Future Forum, which caused a bit of commotion. There was marked disagreement between Steve and Clare.'

Dr Gerada, a GP in Kennington, south London, said: ‘I was delighted my Council supported the approach I've been taking to raising concerns about the reforms.'

But BMA sources said Dr Meldrum had faced a rougher ride and that the Council result was ‘not unanimous', with members still unhappy at the BMA's failure to put resources behind a high-profile campaign.

Professor Field said he did not comment on council meetings.