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GPC Wales names new chair

GPC Wales has today appointed Dr Phil White, a GP partner from north Wales and GPC Wales’ current vaccination and immunisation lead, as its new chair. 

Dr White, will succeed Dr Charlotte Jones, who has held the role since 2013. 

Dr White, of Felinheli Surgery in Gwynedd, has been a GP for 36 years. A fluent Welsh speaker, he has been part of GPC Wales for 12 years and was elected to the Welsh Council in 1985. 

He is also chief executive and secretary of the north Wales LMC, from which he will be stepping down as in light of his new appointment, and an honorary lecturer in healthcare studies at Bangor University.

Meanwhile, Dr Gareth Oelmann and Dr Peter Horvath Howard will serve as Dr White’s co-deputy chairs. Dr Oelmann is a GP partner in Cwmbran, and Dr Horvath Howard is a partner in Hay-on-Wye. 

Dr Oelmann and Dr Horvath Howard have also been elected as negotiators, alongside Dr David Bailey, chair of the BMA Welsh Council, and Dr Ian Harris, a member of GPC Wales.

Dr White said: ‘I am happy to take up the position as chair of GPC Wales. The work the committee does is far reaching; playing a leading role in developing a high quality and sustainable NHS, providing an authoritative voice from the profession and doing its very best for GPs across Wales.

‘I have big shoes to fill but am certainly up for the challenge. I have a strong committee behind me and we are committed to working proactively to ensure we champion the views of our members and their patients.’

Interim head of operations at BMA Wales Yvette Jacques said: ‘I would like to congratulate Phil on his new role. He has served BMA Cymru Wales and patients well over the years during his various roles. I look forward to working with him in his role as chair of GPC Wales.

‘I would also like to pay tribute to Dr Charlotte Jones, who served with utmost dedication during her time as chair. She has contributed greatly to health debate, ensuring that the interests of doctors and patients in Wales were heard at the highest levels.’

This month, a practice in the crisis town of Wrexham launched a formal objection to the ‘unmanageable’ demand caused by new housing developments, and a Pulse exclusive earlier this month revealing that Welsh practices face a six-month delay to a proposed IT switch due to ongoing safety checks. 

However, patient satisfaction in the country has been reported to have increased, while health minister Vaughan Gething has announced that the amount of GP training places in Wales is set to increase by almost 18% this autumn. 

The Welsh Government has also stated that the 2019/20 contract will extend to an additional £25 million funding boost for the profession. 

Note: The article originally said Dr Charlotte Jones held the role from 2015. This has been changed – she held the role from 2013