Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Charles Alessi: Change through motivation

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 30 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4766


Charles Alessi, a GP in southwest London who is 60 this year, is chairman of the National Association of Primary Care and one of the godfathers of GP led commissioning. As a defender of the selective role of competition in the NHS—the alternative, he says, is “equitable mediocrity and stagnation”—he has been a robust and energetic standard bearer, always willing to argue the case. He is a senior adviser to Public Health England and interim chairman of NHS Clinical Commissioners, the membership organisation for clinical commissioning groups.

What was your earliest ambition?

To make things happen. I have always been one to think through how things could be better and have then taken it upon myself to help make the required changes.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My father. He was a GP, and he taught me that to achieve change you had to work through other people. The best way of achieving change was to motivate people, and this was how I tried to manage my clinical practice.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

Thinking that I could achieve change purely through argument and conviction. You need more. Change is about having the critical mass to get traction, and it’s …

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