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NHS England reveals new interim primary care director

NHS England has appointed London GP Dr Nikita Kanani as its next acting primary care director.

This comes after the resignation of the previous primary care director Dr Arvind Madan earlier this week, following his interview with Pulse in which he suggested GPs should be ‘pleased’ when small practices close.

Dr Kanani was previously deputy medical director of primary care at NHS England, and will be taking on her new role ‘with immediate effect’.

Dr Kanani, who was awarded an MBE for services to primary care in 2017, has also held the position of chief clinical officer of NHS Bexley CCG. She previously worked for the National Association of Primary Care and RCGP.

In 2013, Pulse earmarked Dr Kanani as ‘one to watch’ in its Power 50 list of influential GPs, when she was one of the top ‘up and coming GPs’ and was described as ‘a role model for all women juggling home and work’. 

Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said Dr Kanani will step up from her current role to be acting director of primary care for NHS England ‘on an interim basis with immediate effect’.

He said: ‘Nikki has a wealth of experience both as a frontline GP and in a range of positions within healthcare as a clinical leader.

‘GPs and primary care are vital to the success of the NHS and Nikki will provide consistency in leadership as we develop the long term plan for the health service in the coming months.’

The former director of primary care for NHS England Dr Arvind Madan admitted earlier this week that he had been posting provocative comments under the pseudonym ’Devil’s Advocate’ on the Pulse Today website.

In a statement, he apologised to small practices following his interview in Pulse, in which he suggested GPs should be ’pleased’ when small practices closed.

Professor Powis added that NHS England will be advertising externally to fill the role on a long-term basis after the summer break.