Sir Richard Thompson has been elected president of the Royal College of Physicians.

Sir Richard, an emeritus consultant gastroenterologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, will succeed current incumbent Professor Ian Gilmore on 27 July. 

Sir Richard said he was delighted to have been elected to the post but noted the challenges he faced in leading the college through a period of financial austerity and major change to care provision.

He said: “The growth in spending over the past decade is now at an end and for many of the [RCP] fellowship and membership this will create major challenges. Furthermore changes in the form of care closer to home, the national quality agenda and productivity challenges are unfolding with increasing momentum.

“Physicians have the necessary skills and experience to lead this process as clinical practice changes and it is vital that the contribution we have to make be recognised,” he said.

Professor Gilmore added: “I am delighted to be succeeded by such an experienced and committed physician as Sir Richard, who is well equipped to take the college into an era where high quality patient care will be centre stage.”

Sir Richard is currently treasurer of the college and a governor at Guy’s and St Thomas’.