Nikki Kanani (Photo: twitter/NHS England)

GP Dr Nikita ‘Nikki’ Kanani has been appointed as the new medical director for primary care for the NHS in England.

The announcement was made by NHS chief executive Simon Stevens at the health and care innovation expo in Manchester.

“GPs and primary care are vital to the success of the NHS and Nikki will provide great leadership as we work with GPs to tackle workforce pressures and expand access to services,” Stevens said.

A GP in south-east London, Kanani was serving as the acting director of primary care for NHS England and NHS Improvement. Prior to joining NHS England as deputy medical director of primary care, she held the chief clinical officer position at the NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Kanani said she is delighted to have been appointed to one of the most central NHS role. She thanked friends and colleagues across the NHS for supporting her over the past year since she took the role in an interim capacity.

“It has certainly been a sharp learning curve, but over that year we have achieved so much – including publishing the NHS Long Term Plan with a core focus on primary care, agreeing a historic five-year GP contract, and building new relationships across the profession,” she said.

An Msc holder in health care commissioning, Kanani is a member of The King’s Fund General Advisory Council.