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One GP described Dr Balmer as ‘fighting the fight’ which seems to sum up the Essex GP.
As GPC lead on premises negotiations, this year saw Dr Balmer develop a new template lease with NHS Property Services, enabling GPs to have stamp duty reimbursed and to break their lease if they lose their core contract.
This was a major achievement for the GPC, following concerns that some practices were seeing annual fees increase by up to £60,000 a year and came a year after they negotiated £1bn funding in primary care infrastructure.
Dr Balmer says another achievement this year was his contribution to the GP Forward View including the funding needed for practices to work at scale.
As chief executive of Essex LMCs, Dr Balmer also led on an important survey showing that practices in his area are on the brink of collapse with almost one third having considered handing back their contract and 83% unable to provide enough appointments to meet patient demand.
Why influential: Lead negotiator on practice premises
Surprising fact: His hero is footballer George Best