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39. Dr Mohammed Saqib Anwar

There seems to be little in which Dr Mohammed Saqib Anwar is not involved in his home city of Leicester. He is an honourary fellow of the city’s university and he selects judicial office holders for Leicestershire and Rutland. He is placing sixth-form students and medical students in GP practices and has developed a prize for medical students. He’s involved in research on significant harm in primary care and is the NHS England lead on diabetes for the Midlands, and much more. 

However, his real power within primary care comes from his role in pioneering the international GP recruitment programme, having piloted the project in Lincolnshire.

It was his Lincolnshire model on which NHS England has based its own scheme, and it has profound importance. NHS England is looking to bring in up to 2,000 international GPs by 2020 (a change from its original target of ‘2,000 to 3,000’), but it is so far struggling. As of April, two years after the launch, only 85 were ready to work – and most of those were in Lincolnshire.

Dr Anwar has left his role as project lead, but he remains within NHS England where his expertise will be invaluable.


Why influential: Expertise on recruiting international GPs


What others say: ‘He certainly warrants commendation for the time he commits to such roles whilst also being a genuine “coalface” GP’


Random fact: Started working life as a waiter in an Indian restaurant receiving takeaway curries in lieu of payment