The Independent Doctors’ Federation (IDF) has appointed Dr Neil Haughton, a London-based private sector GP, as its new president.
The IDF, which represents independent doctors in all matters relating to private medicine, education and revalidation.
It has close links with the British Medical Association (BMA), The Care Quality Commission, The Department of Health, The General Medical Council, The Royal Colleges and all major private medical insurance companies and private hospital groups. It also has representation on the BMA Private Practice Committee and the RCGP Revalidation Committee.
Dr Haughton, who succeeds Dr Brian O’Connor who had been president since 2016, qualified from Cambridge in 1990 and went on to complete his vocational training in general practice in Kent and obtaining MRCGP in 1995.
He moved to St Mary’s Hospital in London where he worked as a research fellow recruiting patients for the anti-HIV drugs trials, before becoming principal medical officer of the London Lighthouse Hospice.
Dr Haughton joined the Portobello Clinic (originally the Notting Hill Practice) in 1999, became a director in 2003 and is now one of its senior partners. He was elected onto the Council of the IDF in 2013 and has served as chair of the GP Committee and Treasurer.
He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 2018.
Following his appointment, Dr Haughton said: “Brian has led the IDF through a period of considerable and necessary change and for that we are indebted to him.
“We have adapted our role and services to the independent medical community and my priority for the next three years as President is to ensure the IDF remains relevant and vital to our doctors.
“The challenges facing the NHS will only increase and having a strong and cohesive private sector to supplement NHS care is essential. We must exceed the requirements set down by legislation, regulation, appraisal, revalidation and clinical governance.
“The IDF has shown it can take on that responsibility already and is ideally placed to promote excellence, represent its members and enhance the reputation of independent practice to the profession and indeed the nation.”
Dr Haughton said that among his priorities for the future would be the launch of the IDF’s online education programme, enhanced communication between the private sector and the NHS and increased engagement with regulators, Government and the Royal Colleges.
He said: “Apart from ensuring the financial security of our organisation, we will be constantly promoting the autonomy of doctors and a constant emphasis on patient choice.”