02 helen stokes lampard power50 2017 2
In her first year as RCGP chair, this Staffordshire GP has been a powerful force on the national stage, banging the drum for general practice.
In fact, some days it has been hard to turn on the radio or TV without seeing her speaking out about the latest NHS policy announcement.
She has been mentioned in the national media 1,000 times since becoming chair last November and acquitted herself very well when Robert Peston grilled her on his Sunday morning show shortly after Prime Minister Theresa May blamed GPs for the A&E crisis.
A media natural, Professor Stokes-Lampard has brought considerable style and a dash of – as she calls it – ‘sparkle’ to her role as chair.
But she hasn’t shied away from controversy, such as questioning the long-term future of the current partnership model, or calling for senior GPs to stop denigrating the profession in front of wide-eyed trainees.
There has also been a subtle shift in the college’s previously supportive stance on the GP Forward View under her leadership. Professor Stokes-Lampard has been less of a cheerleader and has struck more of a critical tone, saying recently that GPs feel ‘let down’ by NHS England’s measures to support general practice.
Pulse readers nominated Professor Stokes-Lampard for ‘allowing the public and media to know exactly what general practice is in today’s climate’ and for ‘making a bolder change than predecessors’.
Perhaps the only criticism is that, despite a whirl of energy, Professor Stokes-Lampard has not yet shifted the dial significantly on the support offered to general practice. To become one of the truly great chairs of the college she needs to dedicate herself to achieving more concrete change in her second year at the helm.
Fights strongly for general practice, and remains positive
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