RCGP Northern Ireland

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 almost 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.


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 Council administrator, Bronagh McCann at bronagh.mccann@rcgp.org.uk.

Post Council letters will be made available on the website no later than 2 weeks after each meeting of Council.

RCGPNI Council dates for 2015 are:

  • Wednesday 18 February 2015
  • Wednesday 17 June 2015
  • Wednesday 16 September 2015
  • Wednesday 18 November 2015

For more information please contact bronagh.mccann@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 bronagh.mccann@rcgp.org.uk


RCGP Northern Ireland Excellence in General Practice Awards 2013-2014

Quality patient care is a priority for RCGP Northern Ireland and it is important to recognise general practice at its best. The Annual RCGPNI Excellence in General Practice Awards, create an opportunity for patients and practice teams to recognise the dedication of those who play an important role in ensuring the quality of care for their patients.

The 2013-2014 Awards were held on the 24 May in the Galgorm Resort and Spa, County Antrim.

The winners were:

  • Innovation in General Practice - Dr Keith McCollum and the team at Willowbank Surgery, Keady
  • General Practice Team of the Year - Dr Crawford and Partners, Bangor
  • 'Robin Harland Award' - Dr Patrick Sharkey, Carryduff Surgery
  • GP of the Year - Dr Claire Sweeney, Cityview Medical Practice, Derry, Londonderry
  • Maple Group Practice, Lisnaskea were also awarded the College Quality Practice (QPA Award).

You can read more about our Awards night here [DOC] and you can view photographs here [DOC].

Find out more about the RCGPNI GP of the Year here.

Information on the nominations process can be found at RCGP Northern Ireland Awards

For more information please contact laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk or call us on 020 3188 7727.


RCGP Northern Ireland Travel Bursary, supported by Investec

2014 was the second year of the Northern Ireland Travel Bursary, supported by Investec Wealth and Investment. 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 2014 winners, who were presented with their prize at the Annual Excellence in General Practice Awards were:

  • Dr Neil Herron
  • Dr Janet McIlfatrick
  • Dr Suzanne McQuillan

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


RCGP Northern Ireland Newsletter

RCGPNI produces an e-newsletter 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.

To subscribe please contact Laura Orr on laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk or manage your subscriptions at My RCGP.


Committees and Groups of RCGP Northern Ireland

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

Download the Model Practice Framework book [PDF]


- The review and subsequent rollout of the RCGP Out of Hours Accreditation in the Republic of Ireland in partnership with the Irish College of GPs

- 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 Catherine Tumelty or telephone: 020 3188 7722.



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
  • 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 laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk.



RCGPNI Undergraduate Medical Champions

On Wednesday the 29 October 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 laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk or on 020 3188 7727.

In 2014 3 RCGPNI members were approved for Fellowship in May, with a further 5 members being approved for Fellowship in November. Several Fellowships were presented at the RCGP SGM & AGM. They include:

  • Dr Niall McCallion, FRCGP
  • Dr Brendan O'Hare, FRCGP
  • Dr Michael Smyth, FRCGP
  • Dr Shauna Fannin FRCGP

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. The next AiT event will be the popular Computer Workshop in late June. For more information or to register please contact laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk. Should you wish 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. The last event held was a 'GP to GPwSI' workshop in March 2015, with the next 'First5®’ event due to take place in 2016. If you have any suggestions of topics you would be interested in please contact laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk. The 'First5®' rep for 2014-2015 is Dr Alexander Murray. Should you wish to get in touch with Dr Murray please contact first5@rcgp.org.uk


  • Continuing Professional DevelopmentRCGPNI 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. RCGPNI are programming events for 2015-2016, if you have any suggestions for events or courses please contact laura.orr@rcgp.org.uk  


Links to information on other RCGP Northern Ireland groups and activity

Contact us

Royal College of General Practitioners Northern Ireland

4 Cromac Place

Ormeau Road



Email: NICouncil@rcgp.org.uk

Tel: 020 3188 7722

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcgpni

Twitter: @rcgp_ni


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