Although Dr Chaand Nagpaul remains a GP partner at the same north-west London practice where he has been based for 29 years, he says chairing the BMA ‘is in reality a seven-day-a-week job’.
In the past year, this has meant launching a ‘major project’ that ‘will describe a future vision for the NHS that doctors want to work in… rather than the current climate of fear and blame’.
To mitigate that climate, Dr Nagpaul has led the development of BMA guidelines following the ruling in the controversial Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba case ‘with guidance for doctors working under systemic pressure, including raising concerns and recording reflective practice’.
Outside of this, Dr Nagpaul given evidence to MPs on behalf of the medical profession, including highlighting ‘the damaging impact of current competition rules in the NHS’ and ‘risk of commercialisation with accountable care organisations (ACOs)’, calling for legislative change to address this.
Dr Nagpaul says he wants to ‘position the BMA as leading the policy agenda with solutions rather than reacting to political whim, and based on the aspirations and perspective of everyday doctors’.
His own highlight from the past year was the Government’s U-turn to remove the tier 2 immigration cap for overseas doctors.
This followed intense lobbying from the BMA, ‘proving,’ says Dr Nagpaul, ‘that political intransigence and hostility can be reversed through coordinated pressure, media publicity and logical argument’.
Why influential: The voice of the medical profession
What others say: ‘Principled, hardworking and passionate’
Random fact: Spent most of his pocket money as a teenager buying an expensive English stamp collection in the belief it was a sound investment