Dr Richard Vautrey, GPC deputy chair and former medical secretary of Leeds LMC
What have been your most memorable achievements for GPs?
There have been many. Securing funding for protected learning time for GPs is one. That’s been ongoing now for seven to eight years.
How long has your LMC been around for? What have been its most significant moments?
I’m not sure. I’d imagine it’s similar to the others. The thing is we’ve been a stable rock through many many NHS reorganisations and whenever there have been changes, LMC offices have been at the centre of things.
What are your biggest challenges at the moment?
The local challenges are the same as the national ones. The impact of the health reforms, the creation of CCGs. The challenge for all LMCs is developing a relationship with CCGs and challenging them in a positive way.
Are LMCs being involved enough in the NHS reforms?
There has always been variation. In some areas LMCs and PCTs get on well and halve a robust adult relationship. In other areas they get on less well. I hope as CCGs develop they will see the benefits of having a strong LMC involved.
Why did you want to get involved with your LMC?
I always wanted to represent my colleagues and ensure the voice of general practice is heard. In my experience, if you speak up for GPs you are generally speaking up for patients too.
Best LMCs conference moment?
This would have to be the Special LMCs conference we had before the introduction of the new GP contract in 2004. The atmosphere was electric. There was a real sense that the future of the profession was being determined there and then. It was a real pivotal point and whether you agree with them or not we saw changes in the contract as a direct result of what took place in that room.
What do you think the future holds for LMCs?
You can be absolutely certain there will be future reorganisations of the health service and you can be absolutely certain that LMCs will continue to represent and speak up for GPs when they take place.
Do you have any plans to celebrate the 100 year anniversary?
No plans in Leeds However, there’s a GPC centenary meeting on Tuesday with a celebration dinner on Tuesday night.