RCGP Northern Ireland

NI Executive members

Dr Shauna Lewis

Dr Colin Fitzpatrick

Dr Keith McCollum

Dr Philip Lusty

Dr Grainne Doran

Dr John O’Kelly

Dr Rose McCullagh

NI Council members

Dr John O’Kelly. Western Area representative (also Chair)
Dr Shauna Fannin. Member Policy (also Deputy Chair)
Dr Rose McCullagh. Belfast Area representative
Professor Margaret Cupples. Belfast Area representative    
Dr Maeve Lambe. Southern Area representative    
Dr Keith McCollum. Southern Area representative    
Professor Frank Dobbs. Northern Area representative    
Dr Mark Holloway. Northern Area representative    
Dr Grainne Doran. South Eastern Area representative    
Dr Marylou Murray. South Eastern Area representative         
Dr Brendan O’Hare. Western Area representative    
Dr Adrienne Keown. Southern Area representative    
Dr Emma Murtagh. Belfast Area representative 
Dr Michael Smyth. Rural representative    
Dr Nigel Hart. Academic representative    
Dr David Keenan. PiP Chair     
Dr Claire Loughrey. NIMDTA representative         
Dr Danielle McCamphill. Deputy AiT representative   
Dr Conor O’Shea. ICGP / ROI representative    
Dr James Crothers. GPC representative 
Dr Fiona Clarke. NISDA

About us

RCGP Northern Ireland aims to represent its members working in Northern Ireland and to address local issues and aspirations. It also aims to influence the work of the Royal College and governmental policy, where appropriate, in order to try to ensure that Northern Ireland members’ views are heard.

RCGPNI represents over 1300 members in Northern Ireland, accounting for over 80% of all Northern Ireland GPs, and has links with almost 700 members in the Republic of Ireland Faculty.

Activities of RCGPNI include:

  • Representation on health committees and working groups
  • Provision of clinical leads
  • Political engagement
  • Joint liaisons and working strategies (including policy development) with other professional bodies
  • Consultation responses
  • Set up and facilitation of working groups in areas such as Quality, Patient Participation and Membership Development
  • Development and implementation of RCGP Quality Programmes
  • Support for practice based staff 
  • Provision of CPD courses and events 


The Royal College of General Practitioners Northern Ireland was established in 1953, one year after the College in the UK. A Northern Ireland Faculty was created to take forward RCGP’s interests in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Faculty was so productive that on 1 April 2003 it progressed to become a Council.

Patients in Practice (PiP) membership opportunities

If you want to be involved in the PiP group, on behalf of patients in Northern Ireland, and continue enhancing the quality of services delivered by GPs read more.

RCGP Northern Ireland Council

The RCGP Northern Ireland Council is made up of elected member GPs, appointed lay representatives and representatives of a number of pertinent organisations. Council members are elected from the general Northern Ireland membership who, as far as possible, represent a geographic spread of the whole of the country. These members give voluntarily of their time to further the objectives of the College in Northern Ireland.

  • You can find out who your representative is here.

The Chair of RCGPNI Council is Dr John O'Kelly. You can contact Dr O'Kelly on ChairNI@rcgp.org.uk and follow him on Twitter at @JohnRCGPNI.

RCGPNI Council meetings take place on a quarterly basis with the Annual General Meeting being held in November. All members are entitled to attend the Council meetings as observers and should declare their intention to attend at least one week in advance of the meeting to the NI Finance & Council Coordinator, Chris Bryan at christopher.bryan@rcgp.org.uk

RCGPNI Council dates for 2016 are:

  • Wednesday 24 February 2016
  • Wednesday 15 June 2016
  • Wednesday 21 September 2016
  • Wednesday 16 November 2016 (AGM)

For more information please contact christopher.bryan@rcgp.org.uk

Northern Ireland Council Executive Committee

RCGP Northern Ireland Council Executive Committee is a sub group of RCGPNI Council and includes the positions of Chair, Member Policy, Deputy Chair Finance and Executive Members for Quality, Education and Professional Development, Patients and Public and Membership.

The RCGPNI working groups feed into the RCGP Northern Ireland Council Executive Committee who ensure that RCGPNI Council are kept fully informed of ongoing activity by the working groups via council papers or, where time frames prohibit, by email.

For more information please contact christopher.bryan@rcgp.org.uk


Put patients first, Back general practice campaign

Visit our dedicated campaign website for more information on what is happening in Northern Ireland.

Our publications


RCGP Northern Ireland GP of the Year Award 2016

Quality patient care is a priority for RCGP Northern Ireland, and it is important to recognise general practice at its best.

The GP of the Year Award, which commends GPs for the difference they make to their patients lives, is nominated by members of the public who feel that their GP has provided them with an outstanding level of care above and beyond the call of duty.

From the nominations received a list of finalists including the runners up and winner are chosen by the Royal College of GPs Northern Ireland Patients in Practice Group. The award will be given to a GP in Northern Ireland who has provided excellence in and or substantial contribution to patient care as nominated by a patient or former patient.

The winner of the GP of the Year 2015 is Dr Shauna Fannin, Ballymoney Health Centre. She was awarded her trophy at the New Members Ceremony on the 17 October 2015.

Further information

Investec Wealth and Investment RCGPNI First5® Travel Bursary

Investec Wealth and Investment have once again agreed to provide the RCGPNI First5® Travel Bursary. The bursary is designed to provide First5® who have recently completed their training to enhance their knowledge by attending educational courses or providing support for research projects.

The bursary recipients for 2015 were Dr Stuart Kane, Dr John Mayne and Dr Victoria McCandless, who were presented with their bursaries at the New Members Ceremony on 17 October 2015.

If you have any queries regarding the bursary, please contact the RCGPNI office on 020 3177 7722 or NICouncil@rcgp.org.uk 

RCGP Northern Ireland Newsletter

RCGPNI produces an enewsletter which keeps members informed of its work as well as upcoming events and opportunities to get involved. This is distributed a maximum of once a month on the second Thursday of each month. If you are a member you should automatically receive this if you are a member.

If you have any queries regarding the enewsletter, or are a member and would like to submit an article for consideration for inclusion please contact NICouncil@rcgp.org.uk. You can manage your newsletter subscriptions at My RCGP.

Committees and Groups of RCGPNI

Quality Committee

The RCGPNI Quality Committee is a sub group of the RCGPNI Council. The Quality Committee meets four times per year to:

Take forward existing and new quality initiatives on behalf of the Northern Ireland Council Manage and develop quality initiatives to improve the standard of patient care and services in GP practices Influence activity and policy in Northern Ireland that impacts on the quality and standards of primary care

The current work of the Committee includes:

The promotion of the Model Practice Framework as part of the 10 Year Strategy

The delivery of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans patient guidelines

The Royal College of GPs in Northern Ireland (RCGPNI) have produced guidelines for family doctors to support them in delivering care to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans patients.

The work was commissioned by the Public Health Agency NI and the development and design of the guidelines has involved members of the LGB&T community, The Rainbow Project, HereNI, SAIL, The Regional Gender & Identity Clinic, GPs, Nurses, Consultants and lay patient representatives who have an interest in Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland.

Download your copy of the LGB guidelines and Trans guidelines. Read the RCGPNI LGB&T press release here.

To find out more about the work of the Quality Committee contact karin.walker@rcgp.org.uk or telephone 020 3188 7722.

RCGP Out of Hours Accreditation in the Republic of Ireland in partnership with the Irish College of GPs

RCGP Northern Ireland and the Irish College of General Practitioners, assisted by expert working groups, have worked together to create a suitable Out of Hours Accreditation programme for both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which is now available.

The Accreditation process focuses on establishing that the service has implemented the policies and procedures to deliver a safe and quality service to the patients, measuring the provider’s performance against 73 criteria set at three levels:

  • Essential Practice Criteria
  • Good Practice Criteria
  • Quality Practice Criteria

Download the Out of House Accreditation programme information here.

On attaining the Accreditation it is valid for a period of 3 years.
Previous versions of the Accreditation are no longer valid.

For more information Out of Hours providers located in Northern Ireland should contact the RCGPNI office at 020 3188 7722.

Alternatively, if you are a provider in the Republic of Ireland please contact the Irish College of General Practitioners for more information.

RCGPNI Members Forum

The Members Forum brings together representatives from across the membership spectrum in Northern Ireland and is reflective of geographical spread of GPs throughout the province as well as the wide range of ages and stages within a GPs lifetime and associated needs. Membership is also reflective of the sessional and rural GP population within Northern Ireland and the educational needs of GPs.

The role of the Forum is to support all members throughout their careers and act as the members’ voice. It provides a platform for the College to respond to issues affecting membership in Northern Ireland and to develop and share new initiatives at area and Northern Ireland level including: 

Fellowship, CPD programming, Membership communications and Member engagement 

The current Chair of the Members Forum is Dr Philip Lusty, Executive Member for Membership. You can contact Dr Lusty on philip.lusty@rcgp.org.uk.

If you would like more information on the Members' Forum and how you can join the Members Forum Google Group please contact NICouncil@rcgp.org.uk.


RCGPNI Undergraduate Medical Champions

On Wednesday the 29 October 2014 the RCGPNI Executive Committee appointed Dr Peter Ryan and Dr Adrienne Keown as the new RCGPNI Undergraduate Medical Champions.

The doctors will act as a point of contact for undergraduate medical students who are keen to gain a deeper understanding about choosing general practice as a career. The provision of such advice would aim to help medical students in their career decision making processes. The doctors will also work with the Department of General Practice at Queen’s University Belfast to promote general practice as a career for undergraduate medical students.

For more information or if you have any questions please contact peter.ryan@rcgp.org.uk or adrienne.keown@rcgp.org.uk

Find out more about student membership of the College here.

Fellowship in Northern Ireland

RCGPNI has a very active Fellowship programme with several distinguished General Practitioners receiving their Fellowship since the introduction of the new pathway in 2011. If you would like to nominate a colleague for this esteemed accolade please contact jill.brennan@rcgp.org.uk or on 020 3188 7727.

From January 2014 to June 2015, over 10 RCGPNI members were approved for Fellowship. Several Fellowships were presented at the RCGP SGM and AGM 2014 and the SGM 2015. They include:

Dr Niall McCallion, FRCGP Dr Brendan O'Hare, FRCGP Dr Michael Smyth, FRCGP Dr Shauna Fannin FRCGP, Professor Max Watson FRCGP and Dr Edward Farnan. 

A new online system for Fellowship was launched in December 2014. You can find out more here.

Associates in Training RCGPNI engage with Associates in Training via a number of mediums including College wide member bulletins and educational events specifically targeted towards their needs, this includes the annual Life as a Locum Event in March. There are two AiT events per year.

Your AiT representative is Danielle McCamphill. If you want to get in touch, please contact NICouncil@rcgp.org.uk. Should you want to get in touch with the central AiT committee please contact aitcommittee@rcgp.org.uk

First5® RCGPNI engage with 'First5®’ via a number of mediums including College wide member bulletins and educational events. If you have any suggestions of topics which interest you, please contact Liz.Mcaleer@rcgp.org.uk. Should you want to get in touch with the 'First5®’ committee please contact first5@rcgp.org.uk.

Continuing Professional Development

RCGPNI provide an educational programme during the course of the year with concessional rates for members. Please use the website events search function to find a course for you and book online. Information is also available in the monthly member e-newsletter. If you have any suggestions for future events or courses, please contact karin.walker@rcgp.org.uk

International Training initiative in East Africa

For several years Prof Scott Brown (former Chair of NI Council and member of the College Trustee Board) has had an association with the International Health Sciences University (IHSU) in Kampala, Uganda. The university was founded six years ago by Dr. Ian Clarke (formally a GP in N Ireland) and is a small private university which trains nurses, lab scientists, public health administrators and clinical medical officers. There are plans to start an undergraduate medical school within the next two years

Specialist postgraduate medical training in Uganda involves a Masters course over three years in a chosen specialty. Two years ago the IHSU set up a three year part-time Masters in Family Medicine (M Fam Med) programme.

A limiting factor in the uptake of the IHSU course by qualified doctors is finance. As such the RCGPNI and ROI are asking members if they would consider donating a modest sum towards a fund set up to provide training bursaries for at least four students a year for three years.

  • You can find out full details on the scheme here
  • You can download the bursary return slip here

Links to information on other RCGP Northern Ireland groups and activity including


Contact us

Royal College of General Practitioners Northern Ireland

4 Cromac Place
Ormeau Road
Email: NICouncil@rcgp.org.uk


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