FED Council Member: Dr Clare Gerada MBE has more than 35 years experience practising medicine, and has been a driving force behind efforts to provide more wellbeing support for NHS staff. She is the first female Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) in 50 years. She has held leadership roles with the Department of Health and is on the Council of the British Medical Association.
Clare studied medicine at University College London, qualifying in 1982. She trained in medicine, then psychiatry and then followed her father’s foot steps and became a general practitioner in South London, where she has stayed ever since. The practice started life in 1969 – and remains on its current site – on the ground floor of a 19-storey housing estate in Lambeth. The practice has now expanded becoming one the largest GP group practices in London. Her training in psychiatry led her to a life-long interest in managing drug users – and she in fact represented the Department of Health (England) advising the Maltese Government on their drug policy.
Over the years, Clare has held a number of local and national leadership positions, including Director of Primary Care for the National Clinical Governance Team and Senior Medical Advisor to the Department of Health. In 2008, she won the contract to run the Practitioner Health Programme (www.php.nhs.uk), which is a pioneering programme providing confidential services to doctors and dentists with mental health or addiction problems.
Clare has published a number of academic papers, articles, books and chapters, the most recent, in 2011 on gambling and her first, in 1986 on periodic psychosis and the menstrual cycle. In-between she has published papers on wide ranging topics such as smoking and psychosis, random drug testing in schools and practitioner-health.
Clare has strong links to three Medical Royal Colleges and is a Fellow of the RCGP and a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in 2008 and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in July 2013.
Clare has a long involvement with the RCGP; she was previously Vice Chair of College Council and is immediate past Chair of the Ethics Committee and established the RCGP’s groundbreaking Substance Misuse Unit.
Clare was awarded an MBE in the Millennium Birthday Honours for services to medicine and substance misuse.