Dr Robert Varnam PhD MSc MRCGP is the Head of General Practice Development at NHS England and a GP in a large inner city practice in Rusholme, Manchester.
Robert has been involved in leading service improvement and clinical governance within his practice, in the local area and nationally. He previously held roles in the PCT and practice based commissioning group, and was clinical lead for practice accreditation at the Royal College of General Practitioners.
His research work at the University of Manchester covered both epidemiological and sociological approaches to understanding quality and patient safety in primary care. He was involved in introducing new research governance procedures at the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre.
At the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, Robert was involved in the establishment of novel development programmes for primary care staff, to build practices’ ability to improve safety, quality and productivity.
Robert co-chaired the NHS Future Forum’s work on integrated care. He has been involved in the development of clinically led commissioning, including frameworks for authorising and supporting CCGs. He helped to establish the Royal College of GPs’ Centre for Commissioning and the NHS Institute’s development programmes for CCGs, and created NHS Improving Quality’s transformational change programme. He has provided advice on large scale change for policymakers and healthcare leaders from Birmingham to British Columbia.
Robert joined NHS England in 2013, with responsibility for developing policies and programmes to promote, support and sustain innovation and improvement in general practice. His aim is to make it easier for practices to make care more proactive and coordinated, holistic and person-centred, with fast and responsive access, effective health promotion and consistently high quality.