Vaccination programme gathers pace

15 January 2021 

I am delighted to be writing my first blog as Joint Chair of RCGP Scotland. Last week, you heard from my colleague and fellow Joint Chair, Dr David Shackles on the COVID-19 response, with GP sites in Scotland now very much part of the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

This week, as vaccine supplies reach more GP practices, an increasing number are involved in this national effort to vaccinate our most vulnerable patients. I know that planning for this has taken a great deal of effort and that many of you will have been leading this work in your own area. 

Indeed, in my own practice in Grantown-on-Spey we received and used our first vaccine supply this week. We deployed a team to run vaccinations at a nearby building that was large enough to safely cope with a steady flow of eligible ambulant people in the highest risk groups.

This was all arranged while the practice remained open, and we were only able to give quite short notice to our patients when booking them in. It was a fine example of how well our practice management, nursing and administration staff can work efficiently together. We were grateful for the contribution of local volunteers.

Many practices have been sharing photos of their vaccination clinics underway on social media and it’s been fantastic to see a light being shone on the work of general practice in helping to overcome this virus.

Here at the College, throughout the pandemic we have been tireless in promoting the work of the profession and beating the drum for the huge amount of work that has been taking place within practices across the country.

If you are able to share photos of you and your teams helping to roll out the vaccine on social media, please do consider using the hashtags #GPisOpen and #GPCovidJabs so we can promote this through the RCGP Scotland Twitter page.

You may have seen this week that the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Jeane Freeman MSP announced in Scottish Parliament the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan which aims to vaccinate around 400,000 people per week by the end of February.

GPs will play a key role in helping the Government meet this target and we look forward to discussing the plan with the Cabinet Secretary in more detail when we meet with her next week. 

As ever, we are always keen to hear from you about your experiences within general practice on the ground across Scotland. You can always reach us via email

CPD and events in Scotland

Our newly created Membership and Events team in Scotland are keen to hear from you.

COVID-19 has brought about many changes in events delivery which we would like to learn from, and the team have created a short, two-minute survey which they would be very grateful if you could take the time to complete.

They are currently looking at potential events which could be run by faculties and across Scotland in 2021 and your input and experience is invaluable.

Near Me Network regional webinars

Finally for this week, I wanted to let you know about a series of regional webinars that the team behind NHS Near Me are holding virtually across Scotland throughout January and February.

The webinars will provide regional examples and speakers demonstrating how Near Me is being used by GPs and primary care staff. See further information and register now.

Post written by

Dr Chris Williams, Joint Chair RCGP Scotland

Dr Chris Williams has been a GP for the past nine years and is currently working as a salaried GP in Grantown-on-Spey.

He has also worked across Highland as a sessional GP including out of hours roles and has worked in Orkney, Moray and Gairloch as part of a remote and rural GP scheme.

Chris has been actively involved in RCGP since he was a trainee and has attended Scottish Council for the past seven years.

He represents RCGP Scotland on the Scottish Government’s Rural Working Group and is also on the board of the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative.

Chris is currently Chair of North Scotland Faculty and is RCGP Scotland’s Clinical lead for IT and co-chair of the Scottish Joint GP IT Group.

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