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Media release - Prestigious new national role for Devon GP

Friday, 16 September, 2016

A Devon GP leader is taking up a prestigious national role to help shape the future of general practice.

Dr Mark Sanford-Wood, a Medical Secretary at Devon Local Medical Committee, is part of new team which will listen, represent and lead general practice in England and ensure its voice is heard.

He will be working with some of the biggest health names in the country like Simon Stevens, Chief Executive at NHS England, to address the current challenges and opportunities facing the profession.

Issues at the top of the agenda include the role of general practice as part of wider NHS reforms, investment, workforce recruitment and retention, workloads and infrastructure.

Dr Sanford-Wood has been appointed onto the British Medical Association GP Committee’s new executive team for England – which negotiates on behalf of general practice with NHS England and the Government.

His remit will include closer working with local medical committees to deliver on the priorities of the British Medical Association’s Urgent Prescription for General Practice and NHS England’s GP Forward View.

Dr Sanford-Wood said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed to take up this national role at such a crucial time for the profession.

“I look forward to representing all branches of general practice during a period of unprecedented change for the NHS.

“General practice is the gateway to the wider health system and must be protected and developed to ensure it is sustainable, so patients continue to receive high quality care and those delivering it are fully supported to do so.”

Dr Sanford-Wood is a GP locum who works in North Devon and joined Devon Local Medical Committee – which supports general practice in the county – in 1995.

Dr Bruce Hughes, Chair of Devon Local Medical Committee, said: “Dr Sanford-Wood’s knowledge and experience of the challenges and opportunities facing general practice in Devon will stand him in good stead on this national platform.

“It can only be beneficial to have an influential link who can raise awareness of the issues facing general practice in Devon and champion our cause at the highest levels as part of his wider national work.”

Devon Local Medical Committee is granting Dr Sanford-Wood a sabbatical from his Medical Secretary role from October for six months to allow him to focus on his new national role. He will be replaced temporarily to provide continuity of service for Devon’s GPs.