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New BMA GPC chair wants to ‘reset relationship’ with Government

by Sofia Lind
19 November 2021

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The newly-elected chair of BMA England’s GP Committee has said she wants to ‘reset’ its relationship with the Government, in her first comment following the win.

Dr Jameel, who became the first female to be elected in the post today, said the change in leadership was an ‘opportunity’ that needed to be recognised but admitted ‘difficulties’ lie ahead.

Her comments come as the BMA is currently in a dispute with the Government in England over the recently announced GP ‘access plan’, which aims to boost the number of face-to-face appointment offered by practices to patients this winter.

Dr Jameel said: ‘I am delighted and honoured to have been elected to represent GPs at a time of enormous challenge to the profession and I’d like to thank the former chair, Dr Richard Vautrey for his dedication and commitment to this committee and all that he has achieved.

‘I don’t underestimate the difficulties that lay ahead but we must recognise this as an opportunity to reset our relationship with Government and begin to rebuild general practice.’

She added: ‘I look to use the next three years to work closely with fellow general practice leaders and grassroots GPs to design and deliver a stable and sustainable general practice, fit to serve generations of patients to come.’

Dr Jameel staved off competition from one other GPC member in the election, in which GPC England members were eligible to vote. Dr Chandra Kanneganti took to Twitter to congratulate his ‘dear friend’ on her success.

Dr Jameel, who was already a member of the GPC’s executive team, is chair of Camden LMC.

Among other things, she has been leading on workload issues for the GPC, including changes to the NHS standard contract to prevent secondary care from dumping workload on general practice.

The BMA has advised GP practices to immediately start offering consultations of 15 minutes or more; and apply to close their patient list, as part of the fightback against the Government’s new GP access plan.

Dr Richard Vautrey announced his intention to resign as GPC chair last month, after four years in the role.

This story first appeared on our sister title, Pulse.