• Tara Humphrey

Who's who in Primary Care?

Updated: Jun 10

If you are a new Primary Care Network (PCN) Manager, you may have heard your colleagues referring to high profile individuals, but you may not be entirely sure of what they do and their role in the system.

This list does not include every Director and prominent leader in primary care, but here is my list of key individuals you should probably be aware of.

In this blog, I will introduce you to the following:

Dr Nikki Kanani @NikkiKF

Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement

Dr Farah Jameel @DrFJameel

Chair of the BMA General Practitioners Committee in England

Dr Ursula Montgomery @DrUrsulaM

GP and Director of Primary Care at NHS England and Improvement

Matthew Taylor @FRSAMatthew

Matthew is the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation

Ruth Rankine @rankine

Ruth is the Director of Primary Care at the NHS Confederation

Dr Claire Fuller

Chief Executive-designate Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System and GP

Dr Bola Owolabi @BolaOwolabi8

Director of Health Inequalities at NHS England and NHS Improvement

Ben Gowland @BenXGowland

Director at Ockham Healthcare and Host of the General Practice Podcast

Dr Nicole Atkinson @NicoleSAtkinson

Medical Advisor for Primary Care at the NHS Confederation

Amanda Pritchard

NHS Chief Executive of NHS England

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid is the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Let's jump in!


Dr Nikki Kanani

Dr Nikki Kanani is a GP in south-east London and is Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement. Before joining NHS England, she was Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Nikki was also awarded an MBE in 2017.

Check out some of her articles published on the NHSE website here.

Also, check out the recent podcast episode she recorded on the NHS Confederation podcast Health on the Line found here.

Nikki’s role involves working with government and partners to agree on policy priorities for primary care, including contractual and funding implications, designing how to deliver this then and most importantly, ensuring the profession's voice and the system is recognised. 


Dr Farah Jameel

Dr Farah Jameel is a practising GP in Camden and the 1st woman to be elected as Chair of the BMA General Practitioners Committee in England.

Farah was previously a council member at the Medical Women’s Federation, deputy chair of the BMA’s Equality and Inclusion Committee and a national executive member of the British International Doctor’s Association.

Farah is also the former Chair of the South Thames Regional Junior Doctors Committee in 2012 and was a member of the British Medical Association’s UK Junior Doctors Committee between 2010 to 2014. She has been involved in medical politics since 2009.

Dr Ursula Montgomery

Dr Ursula Montgomery is a GP and Director of Primary Care at NHS England and Improvement. Before joining NHS England, she was Clinical Chair of East Leicestershire and Rutland Clinical Commissioning group. 

Ursula has held a range of positions within healthcare, including Associate Medical Director at University Hospitals of Leicester, a GP partner in Leicestershire and chair of Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Community board. 

Matthew Taylor

Matthew is the Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation

Matthew Taylor was Chief Executive of the RSA from 2006 to 2021. He wrote several blogs on topics ranging from policy, politics, public service reform and cultural theory and is also an author.

Before becoming Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew was the CEO of the RSA,  Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister and was the Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Matthew joined the NHS Confederation as the organisation launched a new strategy to coincide with the most important set of reforms to the NHS in a decade, which will see legislative changes that underpin moves to integrate care in the English NHS.

“As the only membership body for the whole healthcare system, they bring together, support and speak for leaders and organisations across the sector, connecting different parts of the system to share learning and to respond to shared challenges. 

Ruth Rankine

Ruth is the Director of Primary Care at the NHS Confederation, leading the PCN Network and Primary Care Federation Network.

Before joining the NHS Confederation, Ruth was deputy chief inspector of general practice at the Care Quality Commission. 

During her time at CQC, Ruth led the regulation of general practice, set up the first regulatory programme for online providers and established an inspection programme for military health services. 

Ruth is accessible, straight talking and deeply committed to amplifying the voice of Primary Care.

Dr Clare Fuller

Dr Claire Fuller is the Chief Executive-designate Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System and GP on integrated primary care and convenor of the Fuller Stocktake.

Dr Claire Fuller’s ‘stocktake’ identify’s the next steps for the role of general practice within new Integrated Care Systems. 

A key objective of the stocktake was to hear as wide a range of views as possible, from across the country, about how to seize this opportunity to ensure integrated primary care is at the heart of ICSs.

Their report can be found here.  

Ben Gowland

Ben is a former contributor to the Health Service Journal ( HSJ) and Chief Executive of a Clinical Commissioning Group. In 2015, Ben established Ockham Health Care to make the system more accessible, more productive and fulfilling for those who work in it, and easier to understand and more responsive to those who need it.

His weekly blogs and General Practice Podcast, where he shares his thoughts and best practices regarding primary care networks.

His content often goes viral, demonstrating that Ben is hugely respected in this space.

Dr Bola Owolabi

Bola is Director of Health Inequalities at NHS England and NHS Improvement, and she works as a General Practitioner in the Midlands.

Bola has particular interests in reducing health inequalities through Integrated Care Models, Service Transformation and using data & insights for Quality Improvement.

Bola has held various leadership roles at local, system and national levels. She was, until recently, National Specialty Advisor for Older People and Integrated Person Centred-Care at NHS England and Improvement, where she led the Anticipatory Care Workstream of the National Ageing Well Programme.

She has worked with teams across NHS England/Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Covid 19 Pandemic response.

Some of Bola's published work can be found here.

Regardless of where you work in the system, reducing healthcare inequalities is everyone's responsibility.

Dr Nicole Atkinson

Nicole is a GP Partner, a Clinical Lead in South Notts Place and the NHS Confederation Primary Care Medical Advisor. Nicole has also been a CCG Chair and Primary Care Network Clinical Director. In her spare time, she likes to run 250 - mile races. Yes! You read that correctly, 250 miles.

Nicole’s role will support the effective development of primary care as part of England's wider health and care system.

Amanda Pritchard

At the top of the tree, we have Amanda Pritchard NHS Chief Executive of NHS England.

Amanda is the first woman in the health service’s history to hold the post.

As NHS chief executive, she will be responsible for an annual budget of more than £130 billion while ensuring that everyone in the country receives high-quality care.

Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid is the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The health secretary's remit includes the following:

Oversight of England's National Health Service which covers;

  • Delivery of care

  • Performance

  • Financial management

  • Matters concerning England's social care policy (although responsibility is shared with the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government in respect of adult social care, and the Department for Education in respect of children's social care)

  • Matters concerning England's national public health

  • Relations with international health partnerships (WHO)

The overall aim

These leaders among many others are working together to achieve a new integrated care system where primary care has a strong and equal voice.

Check out the following video by the King's Fund which presents collectively, what we will all be working towards.

How the NHS works and how the NHS is changing

I hope this helps!

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to keep our blogs up to date and the information presented reflects our knowledge at the time of publishing

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