Maureen Baker, the new head of the RCGP, says GPs' skills are under-appreciated and this could ultimately undermine their role.
GPs are blamed for adding to A&E pressures by no longer providing out-of-hours care, overwhelmed with rising demand from their own patients and expected to play an increasingly key role in an NHS future where many hospital services will be provided elsewhere, all at a time when even ministers agree there is a serious shortage of them. It is not, perhaps, the easiest time to become the new chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), especially with a general election on the way and the voluble, airwaves-friendly but coalition-unfriendly Clare Gerada act to follow.
But Dr Maureen Baker, whose three-year term as the voice of the UK's family doctors starts on Saturday, is not daunted. She is keen to use her tenure to promote the importance of GPs and offer ideas to help keep the NHS working well in difficult times, but in a less strident, more diplomatic, way than her predecessor...
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