Dr Charles Alessi’s role as one of the most prominent GP cheerleaders of the Health and Social Care Act has seen his profile rocket over a year during which he took on the role of interim chair of the new NHS Clinical Commissioners group and became chair of the National Association of Primary Care (NAPC).
A charismatic yet divisive character, Dr Alessi is sometimes viewed by Government critics as an apologist for Andrew Lansley and has, at times, been forced to act as a shield for the policies of the unpopular health secretary.
But Dr Alessi is steadfast in his belief that clinically led commissioning is the only way forward. He was nominated by our panel for his ‘passion to see GPs forging ahead with entrepreneurial spirit to benefit patients’, as well as for having the ‘ear of the politicians’.
He says he took on his two new roles for NHS Clinical Commissioners and the NAPC ‘in the eye of the storm’ and insists that GPs will emerge fighting from what he describes as a tough year for general practice.
He says: ‘GPs have been through a difficult time and have been attacked quite a lot. It is difficult what we do and it carries that level of risk. That is something some people tend to forget’.
Dr Alessi, who retired from his practice in February, is now concentrating on his role in spearheading commissioning reforms.
‘It’s about getting away from the old notions and managing the population more sensibly and in more of a joint way,’ he explains. ‘I think we are in a really good place to build on general practice and play a leading role in managing patients’ health.’