Dr Terry Kemple has been described as a ‘breath of fresh air when it comes to challenging the establishment’. And it was on this renegade platform that he won election as the new RCGP president this year.
His message was that the college had become a ‘complacent corporation’ that mostly provides membership services, instead of a visionary college for its members that ‘mapped out the exciting future for general practice’.
And it was this exciting message that struck a chord with RCGP members and led to him winning more votes than much better-known GPs, such as Dr Mayur Lakhani and Dr Michael Dixon.
He begins in the role in November, when he will look to implement his manifesto pledges of pushing for a review on what GPs can safely stop doing and ensuring medical schools start producing enough GPs.
Understandably, Dr Kemple cites his election as a highlight of the year – although he admits this was surpassed by his daughter’s wedding and son’s graduation from medical school.
He adds: ‘I was winding down and planning to retire from my partnership at the end of December, so to have the privilege of being president for the next two years is a real achievement.’
His plans for the coming year continue on his reform theme. From November, he will look to make the college ‘more ‘user friendly and useful for all its members’.
But, showing he is a reformer outside of the RCGP, his other aim is to keep developing the ‘Green Impact for Health’ awards scheme at the University of Bristol for national roll-out.
He explains: ‘In contrast to the flaws of CQC I think it’s a great and easy-to-use scheme that all practices could undertake. It encourages you to think global but act local regarding sustainable practice and to do it in a sensible way. Watch this space.’
Dr Kemple is also specialist primary care adviser for NIHR West of England Clinical Research Network and training programme director at the Bristol GP Specialty Training Programme.