Further Advancement of the General Practice (GP) Board as New Chair Appointed
Twelve months on from when local practices gave the GP Board its mandate to represent the voice of General Practice across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Dr Julian Povey has been formally appointed as the Board’s new Chair.
The Local Medical Committee (LMC), supported by NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin (NHS STW) leaders, appointed Dr Povey on Wednesday 11 October for a two-year period to further raise the profile of the GP Board and promote the views of General Practice as an integral part of the Integrated Care System (ICS).
Dr Kieran McCormack, GP Partner at Pontesbury and Worthen Medical Practice and Secretary of the Shropshire and Telford LMC, first established the GP Board as a sub-committee of the LMC and worked hard to secure a mandate from local practices, as well as an ongoing commitment from NHS STW under an agreed Terms of Reference.
The GP Board is an independent body and is part-funded by NHS STW in the spirit of collaboration and recognition of the importance of the GP voice.
Since then, members of the LMC along with Primary Care Network (PCN) Clinical Directors, Integrated Care Board (ICB) Clinical Leads and Locality Leads, have met regularly to develop the Board’s role. In this time, Dr McCormack, in his capacity as LMC Secretary, has successfully moved the agenda forwards, leading its progression and assuming chairing responsibilities. The appointment of a new Chair is part of the Board’s further advancement.
Dr Povey said: “I am delighted to take up this position and look forward to building on the work that Dr McCormack has begun, continuing to develop strong relationships to progress true and collaborative system solutions.
“I see the role as the chance to represent all parts of the GP network including our 51 practices, 8 PCNs as well as the wider network - working alongside NHS STW and feeding into key parts of the system. I plan to represent all parts of the network, from those practices offering more traditional GP services to those operating modern General Practice models.
“I think we’ve recognised that we have lost some connectivity over recent years, so my priorities for the Board will be to create a joined-up mechanism for communicating and forming strong, collaborative relationships that promote General Practice and improves interaction between primary, secondary and community care.
“I also look forward to succession planning, as there is a growing group of able and willing young leaders in the county looking to make a difference and develop their careers. I will be looking to provide developmental and leadership opportunities to ensure we increase the influence of the Board and keep General Practice strong, viable and sustainable for years to come.
“I’ve worked in the county for over 28 years now, both in practice and in leadership positions, because I am passionate about providing the best possible care to the people of this county. Many will already know me from being a GP Partner on the Integrated Care Board and sitting alongside the Chairs and CEOs of our main providers. I see this new role as working in synergy with that and a chance to be more representative of General Practice, rather than a single voice.
“The position sits well with my previous experience. I have worked as a GP in Shropshire since 1995 and a member of the West Midlands Clinical Senate since 2017. Having been Chair of Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and then Joint Chair of both Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin CCGs, I think I’ve grown to know our practices and the system very well.
“My experience and deep understanding of General Practice in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin will help me to provide insight and direction to the role and I look forward to seeing what the Board can achieve over the next two years.”
Dr McCormack said: “Over the last year, my work for the GP Board has focused on strengthening our mandate from local practices to add real authority and responsibility to the Board’s work, and in developing stronger relationships across various elements of the ICS. As part of the Board’s natural evolution, the appointment of a new Chair is a step forwards for our significant agenda.
“Dr Povey is an immensely well informed, experienced, and talented leader and is passionate to secure General Practice as the viable and sustainable cornerstone of the NHS. Under Julian’s leadership, and with the continued support of a great ICB Primary Care Team, who have demonstrated their commitment to the importance of the GP voice, we are confident that he will build on our successes.”