The fund was set up by Dr Solomon Wand and Dr Derek Stevenson in 1953, with funds they received as recognition of their outstanding services rendered to the medical profession, by negotiating with the government for better remuneration for the profession, after the Second World War with the inception of the National Health Service. The Fund was named in memory of Dr Wand's wife, Claire who became terminally ill during the negotiations and died in 1951.

When GPs agreed to work within the NHS, in 1948, it was on the understanding that recommendations of the SPENS Committee on GP remuneration would be implemented. This did not happen.

Negotiations with Government were carried out by the Chairman of the General Medical Services Committee, Dr Solomon Wand, and the Committee's Secretary, Dr Derek Stevenson. Disagreement with the Ministry of Health and, in particular, the Minister of Health, Mr Aneurin Bevan, led to an impasse. Eventually, the Government reluctantly  accepted that the issue would be adjudicated by a High Court judge (Mr. Justice Danckwerts), who found decisively in the GPs' favour in 1952. This judgement has since been referred to as the Danckwerts award.

As recognition of the outstanding services rendered to the medical profession by Dr Wand and Dr Stevenson, a collection was made for their personal benefit. This collection produced a sum of £10,800 which the intended recipients declined to accept but, instead, requested that the money be used to establish a Trust Fund. This Trust Fund was to have as its purpose the further education of medical practitioners predominantly engaged in general practice and for the provision of scholarships (including travelling scholarships) for such practitioners. This was how the fund came about.

During the course of the negotiations Dr Wand's wife, Claire, became terminally ill. She died in 1951. It was decided that the Trust Fund should be named in her memory, hence its title the Claire Wand Fund.