A virtual tour of Wales

25 September 2020

Last week I spent six hours over three nights in the company of groups of enthusiastic and committed GPs discussing current challenges and how to meet them.

No, I wasn’t dreaming or having a brief other-worldly experience where all GPs are enthusiastic, but rather I was participating in the three virtual Faculty Board meetings across Wales.

The last time I did this, I sat in the actual meetings. This time I attended by Zoom and it struck me how this new enforced technology could make such meetings more accessible to all members.

Faculty Board meetings

The timing of Faculty Board meetings is such that it allows local members to examine and discuss issues that will be debated by the full RCGP Council a few days later. 

Last week was no exception with some significant time being given in all Board meetings to health inequalities and the role that we as GPs can play at both an individual encounter level for our patients and also at a strategic level for our patient populations.

Within each Board, not everyone agreed on the same elements so consensus through discussion was needed. These views were subsequently taken by each Faculty Representative to the discussion in RCGP Council.

If you are interested in seeing reflections on the discussions from RCGP Council, please look at the posts by Dr Rowena Christmas on the RCGP Members Forum Wales

Although this topic ran through all three meetings, there were other mutually inclusive discussions across each Faculty Board.

Board discussions

Another common theme was the impact of the newly introduced RCA assessment on trainers and registrars alike. The discussion focussed on consideration of educational support for this group with plans almost being made before meetings were ended.

What struck me though, not only with this topic but with the other ideas for developing CPD, was that across the country there are common needs amongst colleagues regardless of where they live or work.

Now in the age of virtual conferencing, faculties have an opportunity to be even more inclusive in delivering CPD and remove any risk of duplication of content.

The final thing that I wanted to reflect on was the discussions around how membership can be made more inclusive and demonstrate or provide value for money. Sitting on the Board and attending its meetings is all voluntary.

It gives an opportunity to be involved in something outside the everyday and an opportunity to influence discussions at strategic level. For some it offers an individual opportunity for personal development.

Some new attendees had come to the meetings last week in response to my social media invitation to join and all three Faculty Board Chairs are keen to have more new members and would welcome any enquiries about faculty events and initiatives. Please get in touch for the next Faculty Board meeting date. 

Improving the membership offer and increasing the number of members and fellows is a priority of the College and will be discussed further in Faculty Boards in November.

If you want to be part of that discussion, or even just observe, why not come along (without having to leave the comfort of your own home).

Post written by

Dr Rob Morgan, Vice Chair of RCGP Cymru Wales

Rob is a Salaried GP working part time in the practice where he was a partner for over 20 years. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of RCGP Cymru Wales, he is an appraiser and has been so for the last 17 years.

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