The well-known healthcare executive Dr Richard Vautrey has been elected chair of the BMA’s GP committee for England and the UK.
Leeds-based Vautrey will immediately begin working in his new position.
Vautrey previously served as deputy under the previous two GPC UK chairs, after a prestigious career working within the General Practitioners Committee.
Indeed, Vautrey has being a long-standing member of the organisation, and previously acted as the committee chair.
This position became available after the exit of Dr Chaand Nagpaul, following his election as chair of the BMA council.
Vautrey continue to practice medicine in Leeds, and is currently the LMC assistant secretary for the region.
The new chair has also been a member of the GPC for 16 years, having previously served for four years as the deputy to Nagpaul.
Vautrey had lost out in the final round of the 2013 chair election, and was deputy to previous chair Dr Laurence Buckman.
The eminent medic had also previously worked as a negotiator under Dr Hamish Meldrum’s chairmanship of the GPC before becoming deputy chair under Dr Buckman.
Vautrey also sits on the BMA and RCGP councils, and is generally hugely active within the healthcare system.
After initially winning the vote for GPC England position, Dr Vautrey was later appointed unopposed to lead for the UK.
The incumbent expressed his understanding of the magnitude of the role, and outlined his determination to make a positive difference in his new position.
“I am truly humbled and honoured to be elected as chair of the BMA’s GP committee for England. At such a crucial time for the future of general practice there can be no greater privilege or responsibility than to be asked to lead our great profession. I know there is much to do to deal with the workload pressures, resolve the workforce crisis and improve the morale of GPs but I firmly believe that GPC, working with LMCs, can turn this situation around and will enable a brighter future for general practice.”
One of the first jobs for Vautrey to address will be the impending industrial action that is currently being balloted by the GPC.
The GPC has asked GPs to indicate whether they would be prepared to take part in a mass closure of patient lists in protest over the ongoing GP crisis, with the BMA also supporting this notion.
There is also a challenging climate in general practice currently, with numerous authoritative organisations agreeing that this critical aspect of the healthcare system is both underfunded and understaffed at present.
This has led many to describe the current situation as a crisis.