Since she took over as RCGP chair in 2016, there is rarely a week when Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard does not appear in the national media calling for general practice to be given a fair deal and for the daily issues faced by GPs to be recognised.
Recently she called for an urgent overhaul of the GP Forward View, and an extra £2.5bn yearly investment in general practice in order to maintain patient safety.
Last year she managed to extract a promise from then health secretary Jeremy Hunt that a solution for GP-indemnity would be found – resulting in a state backed indemnity scheme later announced at the RCGP conference, although it has since been delayed.
And last month, the RCGP and the BMA joined forces to write to the health secretary demanding an additional £31m a year in funding for GP undergraduate training placements, to bring it up to the same level that hospitals receive for hosting trainees.
She is a popular college chair. Pulse readers nominated Professor Stokes-Lampard because ‘she cares’ and is ‘energetic for the RCGP’.
She recognises the human side that lies behind the policies for which she fights. Her favourite moment of the past year was the response she received following her address to the annual conference in November, in which she spoke about how talking with a patient called Enid was more important than QOF, NICE, or CCG guidelines.
She says she was ‘blown away by the warmth and engagement from grassroots colleagues’.
Many GP will be hoping that with just over a year left as the RCGP chair, Professor Stokes-Lampard uses her emotional intelligence and forthright manner to nail some final big wins for the profession.
Loved by the media, she has a voice that can demand change and be heard
What others say
‘Enthusiastic, dynamic, fun, driven, fair.’
‘I love getting out into the fresh air and have used this as justification (excuse) to buy a convertible car’