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6. Dr Chaand Nagpaul

06 nagpaul, chaand power50 2017 6

06 nagpaul, chaand power50 2017 6

Dr Nagpaul has become the most powerful doctor in the country.

He practises in north-west London, and was elevated earlier this year to head of the BMA, meaning that – once again – a GP is at the helm of the union.

But the former GPC chair will have a portfolio that may prevent him spending too much time on his own profession, with the continued anger of junior doctors after their failed strike action, a row brewing about the new consultant contract and the ongoing plight of staff and associate specialist doctors. There may well not be enough of Dr Nagpaul to go around.

This promotion has come on the back of a tumultuous final year as chair of the GPC. There were some undoubted successes – principally securing a 5.9% increase in the global sum, full reimbursement of CQC fees and the abolition of the unpopular avoiding unplanned admissions DES.

But even Dr Nagpaul himself would probably admit he was not been able to shift the mood music in general practice. And the GPC’s decision not to pursue the idea of balloting GPs on mass resignation – which it had been instructed to do by the 2016 annual LMCs Conference – has left ill feeling.

Despite the odd hiccup, though, Dr Nagpaul will go down as a popular and pragmatic GP leader, and he will need both these qualities in spades as he takes on his biggest challenge yet. 

Dr Nagpaul himself says he will spend the next year developing work on the ‘primary secondary care interface’ to create an ‘environment that will support GPs’.

But who does he thank for this ability to appeal to most GPs? ‘My wife. I simply could not have coped nor progressed in my career without her support. She’s an overworked dedicated grassroots GP and keeps me grounded in representing the profession.’

Why influential

Most powerful doctor in the UK

What others say

‘He is leading disparate GP views nationally with resilience and calm determination’

Random fact

As a teenager, he wanted to be a busker singing Bob Dylan songs