Former RCGP chair Professor Clare Gerada has withdrawn her bid to be elected to the BMA Council, due to time constraints and potential ‘conflicts of interest’ with her current role at NHS London.
Professor Gerada explained that she felt that her current task, ‘transforming primary care’ in London, was too important to take on other responsibilities, but was adamant that BMA council remained an ambition.
Professor Gerada told Pulse at the start of the year that she was running to improve doctors’ working lives, and because she had ‘unfinished business’ with the NHS reforms.
She was listed as one of the nominees when the BMA published election statements in February, pledging to ‘bring fun back into medicine’ if elected.
The withdrawal means 58 candidates are now competing for the 18 council seats. The newly nominated members would serve for four years from July.
Professor Gerada, who was succeeded by current RCGP chair Maureen Baker, has since taken a position with NHS England (London) as is chair of ‘primary care transformation’ and is a partner at the London-based Hurley Clinic.
Dr Gerada told Pulse: ‘I think on reflection, I felt that I couldn’t do the NHS London job and the BMA if I was elected, there would be too many conflicts of interest.’
‘Though I am able to manage conflicts, and have, I think the NHS London job, transforming primary care is so important I didn’t want to jeopardise it, and I reluctantly –even though I really wanted to do the BMA – I felt on balance it wouldn’t be fair to either of them to do it.’
‘And of course, there’s always next year, but it’s just how things are having put my application forward before the NHS London job really took off, I thought it’s just too much.’
This article was ammended on 24 March to include Professor Gerada’s comments.