The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has announced the appointment of regional ambassadors to help implement NHS England's GP Forward View.
The RCGP has implemented a team of 29 GPs to provide a voice on each of the recently created 44 Sustainability and Transformation Programme (STP) boards, which will be integral in decision-making at a local level.
The GPs will help ensure that the 108 proposals outlined in NHS England’s recent GP Forward View are implemented in the best interests of general practice and patient care, said the RCGP.
Furthermore, the role of the ambassadors will be to maximise investment in general practice at a local level, track developments, and make sure that GPs have a strong voice in the GP Forward View across England, as well as helping the College monitor progress overall.
The regional ambassadors have been appointed to work alongside RCGP’s network of local faculties and designed to cover the STP footprints in England.
Dr Maureen Baker, RCGP chair, said: “The GP Forward View is a lifeline for general practice, at a time when our profession is struggling with increasing patient demand, decreasing resources and not enough GPs and practice staff. But there is now a huge amount of work to do to ensure that the ambitions set out in the GP Forward View are delivered.
“Much of this work will take place at a local level, and so it is vital that STPs have a strong local GP voice on their boards linking them directly to primary care. The new network of regional ambassadors will offer an informed GP perspective; something that is all too often overlooked.”
Dr Gary Howsam, regional ambassador and a GP partner in Cambridgeshire said: “Engagement with STPs is our best chance to influence the flow of money into our practices and it is critical that grassroots GPs are involved in that process.
“While each region faces unique challenges, it is clear from my discussions with my fellow Ambassadors that there are many common themes. This new network will be a valuable resource for sharing thoughts and ideas as we continue to push the case for general practice across England.”
A full list of the Regional Ambassadors and their corresponding STP footprints is available here.