Dr Richard Vautrey may have lost out in his bid to become the new GPC chair this summer, but he continues to wield considerable influence as deputy chair and remains a ‘staunch advocate’ for what is best about general practice.
He was also re-appointed to the RCGP’s governing council in June.
The respected Leeds GP is known for his unflappable and calm demeanour - as befits a former vice-chair of the Methodist Conference - but during the battle over the imposition of the GP contract in England he has continually pushed for better funding and warned about the impact on patients.
An accomplished media operator and active member of the social networking site Twitter, Dr Vautrey has often found himself having to conduct a high-profile defence of the profession.
He says: ‘It has been a very difficult year for all GPs, but it was heartening to receive the support of GPs who turned out in large numbers to the many roadshow meetings we did at the time of the Government’s contract imposition - and to hear that what we were saying was absolutely in tune with what they were thinking about the Government’s actions.’
He will keep going, he says, because he knows that ‘getting a good deal for GPs means getting a good deal for patients’. In the upcoming year, Dr Vautrey says his greatest priority will be ‘achieving a fair negotiated agreement’ on the GP contract.
‘[An agreement] that starts to address unsustainable levels of workload and leads to GPs feeling they have more time to act as professionals rather than being oppressed by excessive box-ticking and micromanagement’ is what he would like to negotiate, he says.
In nominating him for Pulse’s list, his peers described Dr Vautrey as a ‘loyal servant to both the BMA and the RCGP for many years’.
He says: ‘General practice remains a great profession but you need to be prepared to speak up for it and challenge those that don’t understand or don’t value what we do. Join your LMC and they’ll help you to do this.’