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Dr Richard Van Mellaerts

Nominated for ‘standing up and speaking his mind and election to the GPC’, Dr Richard Van Mellaerts says he was surprised by both successes.

’I planned to stand for the GPC to see how the process worked. I was incredibly shocked when I actually won,’ he says.

Dr Van Mellaerts, a GP principal in Kingston on Thames has joined the GPC’s clinical and prescribing sub-committee following his election. This followed a barnstorming speech where he told the conference that GPC negotiators’ efforts had had ‘very little’ impact on the Government.

If election was the high point of the past year, the low point was ‘standing there as GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman told the conference that was personally insulted by my speech. That wasn´t my intention,’ he says.

Dr Van Mellaerts admits he got involved in medical politics ‘because I got cross’ about the way things were happening. But he’s a ‘conviction GP’ as well as a ‘conviction politician’. Seeing patients is still his most satisfying role. ‘There´s no point to any of this otherwise,’ he says.

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