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32. Dr Robert Varnam

Dr Robert Varnam has spent the past few years in charge of NHS England’s Time for Care programme, aimed at freeing up GPs to spend more time with patients.

In the role, he has commissioned £136m worth of support funds for GP practices, which he says has been ‘a huge privilege’.

He told Pulse it has been ‘amazing’ to see the GP Forward View programme develop, having now spread to ‘almost every CCG in the country’.

Dr Varnam is moving on from the national primary care policy team at NHS England to spend more time on developing primary care networks as part of the sustainability and transformation programme (STP).

‘It has been an amazing five years… and I’m really looking forward to getting more hands-on for the next chapter of my career,’ he says.


Why influential: Oversaw funds to increase GP time with patients, next up shaping primary care networks in STPs

What he says: ‘To have thousands of practices getting expert support to help them release time has been a dream of mine for years’

Random fact: Terrified of heights but recently took up climbing as he thinks ‘it’s good for me’