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The GP Forward View was a major personal achievement for Dr Baker, and for the college she chairs.
The RCGP’s Put Patients First campaign has long lobbied for a rise in the proportion of funding going to general practice. For three solid years, almost every statement the Lincoln GP gave to the media demanded that the profession receive 11% of the NHS budget.
The repetition clearly became too much for NHS England chief Simon Stevens. His big promise in the GP Forward View was that general practice funding would rise by £2.4bn by 2020, and the proportion of funding going to general practice would rise from 7% to 10%.
It was a huge shift in NHS policy, all the more remarkable amid public sector austerity. Dr Baker’s claim that it was the ‘most significant announcement for general practice since the 1960s’ may have been a touch overblown, but it certainly marked real progress.
But the legacy of Dr Baker’s reign at the college will be determined long after she steps down; it is unclear how much of the much-trumpeted £2.4bn will reach core GP funding.
To her credit, Dr Baker is focussed now on delivery. She tells Pulse: ‘My tenure as chair of the RCGP comes to an end in November. Until then I am dedicated to doing what I can to ensure the 108 pledges made in the GP Forward View are implemented effectively and in the best interests of general practice and patient care, as a matter of urgency.’
And she is confident her successor will take on the mantle: ‘I am confident that the work the College is doing to ensure this is in safe hands with my successor, Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard.’
She has appointed 29 regional ambassadors to influence implementation of the GP Forward View at a local level and is also leading efforts to ensure ’similar recognition of our service is seen in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’.
Why influential Central to the development of the GP Forward View
Surprising fact Massive Star Wars fan