Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Faculty

Welcome from Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Faculty

The Faculty supports over 1100 Members, Fellows, Associates and Associates in Training across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Every year we offer our members a full education programme that focuses on a variety of clinical areas relevant to all GPs, AiTs, First5s and other member of practice team. We have developed a very successful minor surgery programme, widely regarded as a useful and rewarding set of courses. The Faculty supports members by offering bursaries for Wonca and RCGP’s Annual conference.

Get involved

We rely on our members to play an active role in their local communities to help promote the College's aims and objectives. We are passionate about providing a high-quality service that support GPs to deliver the best possible care to their patients. Members of the Faculty contribute to shaping the future of general practice by having a say in issues pertinent to GPs which is then fed back to College Council.

Upcoming events

Over the last few years, we have been striving to increase the number, diversity and the quality of the courses we are running. This year, we have developed another full programme for our members, including two free Primary Care Masterclasses in March and June 2019. 

View all learning and social events in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Faculty Board Members' articles

A History of NHS Organisation and Reorganisation: The Personal View of a Luton GP

Have you lost track of the many reorganisations of the NHS? CCGs, PCNs, PCTs, SHAs, DHAs, STPs and so on? Well I have. I thought I’d write them down and perhaps make a short article about them. This seemed rather dry, so I thought I’d make it into a history of the NHS; this also seemed rather dry so I started adding my own comments and then tried to recall my own personal experiences as they affected me as a GP throughout a 35 year career. This is it.

The NHS has seen constant change since its inception, constant restructuring, with organisations either amalgamating and getting bigger, or dividing and getting smaller. It usually takes at least two years for people to understand how a new organisation functions and around that time, the structure changes again. One of the problems with constant reorganisations is the loss of institutional memory, as senior managers are replaced by others. GPs therefore will often have better memories than managers of what has gone before, perhaps accounting for some cynicism about the latest changes, whatever they might be. There is also an element of change fatigue, as clinicians try to understand the latest metamorphosis. But to the beginning.

The NHS was established on July 5th1948, following the NHS Act of 1946. It was the first state-funded health service, free at the point of delivery, and available to all, anywhere in the world. It remains the jewel in the crown, a national treasure, something that governments over the years have reshaped many times but have never dared to replace.

Before the establishment of the NHS, health care was not available to all. People had to pay a fee to the doctor or for private hospital care. After 1911, employed people were entitled to free health care under the National Insurance Act. The employer would buy special stamps from the post office and put these on a card, as evidence of entitlement for the employee. The phrase: “I’ve paid my stamp” meaning entitlement to healthcare, has persisted for decades. If a man lost his job, he was “given his cards” which refers to the NI stamps on the card. Most employees were men. Women and children were not entitled to free healthcare, even when the husband was in work, so had to pay. The unemployed were also disadvantaged. Some local authorities converted the old workhouses into municipal hospitals and there were voluntary hospitals funded by charity, but the standard of care was generally poor with perhaps just one doctor providing medical care in a hospital, without supervision, and people were expected to pay something towards their care. People would often rather stay at home than risk the municipal hospitals. Read more here

Dr Julian Marsden, ex-Provost Beds and Herts Faculty

Your Faculty Board

Faculty Officers

Dr Frank Raymond
Dr Frank Raymond. Chair 

Richard Ough, Provost
Dr Richard Ough. Provost

  • Vice-Chair - Vacant
  • Dr Talib Abubacker - Honorary Secretary
  • Dr Sahadev Swain - Honorary Treasurer
  • Dr Sandip Pramanik - Deputy Treasurer

Faculty Board

  • Dr Frances Cranfield - Council Representative
  • Dr Richard Ough - Deputy Council Representative, Provost
  • Dr Deepa Choudhury - International Representative
  • Dr Vijay Nayar - Fellowship Lead
  • Dr Julian Marsden - Later Career and Retired Members Lead
  • Dr Emma Salik - Education Lead
  • Dr Elsa Charles - First5 Lead
  • Dr Soon Lim - Minor Surgery Course Director
  • Dr Anne Turner - Member
  • Dr Peter Graves - Member
  • Dr Sandip Pramanik - Deputy Treasurer and Next10 Lead
  • Dr Richard Darnton - Member
  • Dr Joana Santos- First5 Lead
  • Mrs Andrea Assan - Lay Representative 
  • Practice Manager - Vacant
  • Practice Nurse - Ms Elizabeth Cross 
  • AiT Representative - Dr Zahra Hussain

Email Accounts

A number of our members have alerted us to the fact that they are not receiving e-briefings, updates or blogs from the College. This appears to be happening for a number of reasons. One issue is that some members are now on NHS email addresses, which are highly restrictive in respect of accepting emails from external organisations. Meanwhile, some members have omitted to set their email accounts to receive RCGP emails. Others sometimes forget to notify us, or make the requisite amendments in MyRCGP, when they change their email address. Finally, some email accounts appear to tag College emails as spam.

We would ask all of you to check your email settings when you get the opportunity to make sure you can receive College email updates, and check that your details in MyRCGP are up to date. If you get the chance, please do pass the message on!

Faculty News

Faculty Board

We meet four times per year in February, June, September and November to progress our local engagement activities and discuss issues pertinent to our members, which are then fed back to the College Council. Our next meetings will be held on 24 June; 22 September, 17 November. All members are invited to attend board meetings. If you would like to discuss any item covered, or would like an item to be considered at a future meeting, please contact us.

Board Vacancies

We are currently seeking two members for the Beds and Herts Faculty Board: Vice-Chair and Practice Manager Representative. Please get in touch if you know of a suitable candidate for any of these roles.

Faculty Events

The Faculty organises an extensive educational programme for our members. If you have an idea for any educational activity you'd like to see in your locality please get in touch.

Details of forthcoming Beds & Herts Faculty meetings, social events and educational courses can be accessed via the Upcoming Events box on the right or view the courses and events page.

Faculty Initiatives



The Faculty has appointed a new First5 Lead Dr Elsa Charles who oversees specific activity for this group in the area. We are also keen to have more First5s engaging with the Faculty, therefore, we are looking to set up a network of several small First5 groups that will meet up regularly in different localities within the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire area. We currently have a First5 group that regularly meets around Luton and Hitchin area, and we are trying to establish another one around Watford - Hemel Hemstead area.  If you are already part of a group and would like it to appear on this website or are keen to promote First5 membership and activity in your local area please contact the Faculty office.



Fellowship of the Royal College is a great honour and a firm mark of achievement, and the Faculty actively encourages all eligible members to apply. Fellowships can be awarded to members of five years' standing, and confer a recognition of an individual's significant contribution to:

  • The health and welfare of the community
  • The science or practice of medicine
  • The aims of the RCGP, or any organisation which benefits general practice.

Within the Beds and Herts Faculty, we have a dedicated Fellowship Committee (led by our Provost Dr Richard Ough), which can offer advice and support to applicants.

Get in touch with the Beds and Herts Faculty or visit the RCGP Fellowship webpage for more information.

Contact us

RCGP Beds and Herts Faculty
Room 211
Putteridge Bury
Hitchin Road

T: 020 3188 7402

Opening hours

Office opening hours: Monday till Friday 08:30 -13:30

Your local Faculty Administrators is Annemarie McCarty (,uk), mobile 07342998753 . 

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