The announcement of £1bn of new primary care infrastructure funding from the Government was a major breakthrough for the GPC this year.
The man responsible for taking forward this deal is GPC premises lead Dr Brian Balmer.
In his first year as a member of the GPC executive team, he was nominated for his ‘thoughtful insight’ and ‘leading work’ on a project to support practices to work at scale. Much of his work – locally and nationally – has been to support GPs facing unprecedented pressures on their practices.
As chief executive of Essex LMCs, Dr Balmer led one of the largest-ever surveys of the GP workforce, showing vacancies for GPs were set to double within a year. He has been involved in producing practical resources to help GPs reduce their workload and establishing the two-year pilot of a primary care workforce development centre in Essex.
This coming year, Dr Balmer says he will be focusing on taking forward his work on premises, by agreeing a premises strategy for primary care with NHS England and completing work on the long-awaited premises cost directions and standard lease agreement.
But Dr Balmer’s favourite moment of the year came just after he was elected to the GPC Executive.
He says: ‘I walked into a room of LMC chief executives and secretaries and they stood and applauded without saying a word.’ And this probably says it all.