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It’s my duty to represent GPs

The NHS reforms represent the biggest change to the NHS since it began. As chair of the RCGP, I represent the views of over 42,000 GPs and think it would be wrong for me not to get involved in the debate.

Dr Clare Gerada does not represent commissioning enthusiasts like me

Part of my role involves championing the college's position, which seeks to influence the health reforms so they improve the care and services that GPs and the NHS can provide for patients.

I think I would be open to more criticism if I did not represent the views of RCGP Council, our members and fellows.

The college has been consistent in our messages about the reforms from the start.

We support a clinician-led health service with patients at its centre, but our members continue to tell us that they are worried about the pace and scale of change.

These are challenging times for us all. The risks and benefits to patients, to GPs and to the NHS cannot be predicted, but many are expressing serious concerns about the reforms.

I am conscious of my responsibilities, and I constantly liaise with the presidents of the other royal medical colleges and my counterparts on the GPC.

It is not for the college to get involved in party politics, but I regard it as my duty to get involved in issues that have a direct impact on the standards and quality of care that GPs provide to patients.

Dr Clare Gerada
Chair of Council, RCGP