The GPC negotiator and Harrow GP has graduated from rising star to a genuine contender to be the next chair of the GPC.
As the lead negotiator on commissioning, his profile has soared as he has been at the forefront of difficult discussions with the Government over the implementation of the Health and Social Care Act.
Widely hailed for his thoughtful and articulate approach, his measured yet authoritative presence has led to some wags hinting that a career in television is on the cards – suggestions that are laughed off by Dr Nagpaul himself.
Dr Nagpaul says explaining how the commissioning changes would impact on the working lives of GPs was one of the biggest challenges he faced this year. He has helped produce well-received BMA guidance on issues including CCG constitutions and conflicts of interest.
But despite his constructive presence, Dr Nagpaul has not been shy in criticising the Government’s health reforms. He reserves particular ire for the creeping privatisation of the NHS, claiming one of his biggest goals is mitigating the damaging effect of commercialisation and the Government’s desire to make a market of the health service.
He has highlighted the dangers of outsourcing commissioning support and has also spoken out against moves by CCGs to performance manage practices.
In addition to his commissioning role, Dr Nagpaul leads for the GPC on negotiations over IT and enhanced services, meaning his in-tray is always full. His diplomacy also came into play as he helped steer the narrative of the press away from the ‘greedy doctors’ line when supporting the BMA’s day of industrial action.
As GPs become increasingly demoralised by the avalanche of work transferring from hospitals into primary care, Dr Nagpaul – like many – is adamant that the growing workload, complexity and intensity of patient consultations is becoming unsustainable.
He says: ‘I have enjoyed being able to represent the views, concerns and aspirations of grassroots GPs. Highlighting the grassroots perspective to ministers is what counts.’
Best moment: Receiving a rapturous ovation at the LMCs conference after claiming the Department of Health’s refusal to publish the risk register of its NHS reforms was ‘the height of hypocrisy’.
Worst moment: Being ‘Daily Mailed’ during coverage of the day of industrial action – the paper printed a picture of his home and criticised him for ‘driving a Jaguar with a personalised number plate’.