Bright Ideas

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A better way of doing things, tried and tested by frontline healthcare professionals

Healthcare professionals delivering care on the frontline are busy ensuring people have the best care and the best possible outcomes. Often we see better ways of doing things, better because it's a way to improve patient outcomes or release our time or improve the patient journey or reduce the cost.

At the RCGP we want new approaches to be recognised, celebrated and spread. The RCGP launched the Bright Ideas Awards to recognise and celebrate the interesting fresh approaches frontline professionals are making to improve primary care.

We want to help others to make these changes, award winners will be invited to participate in facilitated workshops to support others to make the improvements they have inspired others to try. We are running regional Bright Ideas Workshops to facilitate learning and support others to try these new approaches.

Bright Ideas Awards 2019

Submissions for the Bright Ideas Awards 2019 have now closed. Submissions submitted after the deadline will not be included in the 2019 awards review. Winners of the Bright Ideas Awards 2019 will be announced in Autumn 2019.

Since 2017, we have presented awards to people with ideas that are either pioneering by pushing the boundaries of traditional methods or demonstrate high impact to alleviate the pressures facing primary care. 

Bright Ideas Awards are presented in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to recognise fantastic innovation in general practice. In 2018 we had our first patient winner who worked with her practice to address missed appointments (DNAs). 

You can submit your own Bright Idea to be showcased on our website. To do so, please complete this online form

Bright Ideas Awards 2018

Last year the RCGP sought to capture and share Bright Ideas in general practice which showed qualitatively or quantitatively that they have benefitted the practice in one or more of the following areas:

  • Pioneer Award – these recognise and celebrate ideas which are at the forefront of healthcare and pushing the boundaries of general practice.
  • High Impact Award – this award recognises and celebrates ideas which have taken a fresh approach to addressing the challenges currently facing primary care and have demonstrated tremendous value.

More on the 2018 Bright Ideas winners


The College is organising workshops to share some of the Bright Ideas to help GPs try these Bright Ideas to improve the quality of care and adapt to the changing primary care landscape.

The sessions, hosted and developed by two of the selected winners in 2018, will include an overview of the Bright Idea, a facilitated discussion, and educational materials to help plan and introduce the idea into a practice setting. Attendees will be invited to participate in a peer support network.

If you would like to attend the workshops, please complete the Bright Ideas Expression of Interest from and send it to

Following the workshops, the College will coordinate regular tele-conferences to provide easily accessible peer support and evaluate the impact of the Bright Idea within the various practice settings.

Get in touch:

Email with any queries.

Improving services through patient co-production

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We ran a standard capacity- based appointment system, which was accessed by telephone. A patient survey indicated very high satisfaction with clinical advice and treatment, but poor access to appointments, and difficulty with relational continuity with their known GP. To solve this issue we launched online access to clinical advice for all appointment requests for GPs and Advanced Nurse Practitioners.

Positive psychology to reduce missed appointments

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In our GP surgery, like many others, staff and patients were frustrated when people did not attend their booked appointments or cancel in time to free the appointment up for another patient. A PPG member who is also a psychologist suggested that two aspects of behavioural psychology i) social norms and ii) active commitments, could be helpful in solving the problem.

ProActiveGP Virtual Clinic

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In 2014 we changed our practice’s way of managing blood results and moved to a proactive SMS with EMIS driven and Outlook templates to facilitate. We create software that could both expand the number of templates and offer a system that was easy to implement to improve the way we communicate blood test results to our patients.

CBT Pain Management Course

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A review of the data from our COMPASS report the Grosvenor Road Surgery in Belfast showed a gradual but sustained increase in the amount of prescribed analgesics. As a result, we decided to be proactive in how we care for patients who suffer from chronic pain at our practice.

Career Start GP Programme for First5 GPs

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Previously, no formal system was in place to support and mentor newly qualified GP Trainees in their first few years of independent working. To address this issue, the Career Start GP Programme at NHS Tayside was launched in 2016 to compile resources to improve the recruitment and retention of new GPs.

Improving capacity in general practice

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Following the retirement and medical leave of two additional GPs within the practice in Nefyn, Wales, the recruitment issues became critical and potentially detrimental to patient care. The solution was a combination of several modest modifications, which together became bigger than the sum of their parts.

Practice Communication Cell meetings

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Hackenthorpe Medical Centre, Sheffield, introduced a short daily meeting for all practice staff to improve morale and processes within the practice.

Standardised cancer referral form

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A tested, validated and standardised referral form was implemented in North East London to improve suspected cancer referrals.

Gardening for the community

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Dr Stockton and Thompson's Practice in Manchester started up a community garden at their practice to educate patients on wellbeing and provide a place for patients to socialise.

Integrated care programme in mental health

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New Invention Health Centre, Staffordshire, have implemented a new model of CPA review in a primary care setting, involving a much bigger multidisciplinary team to include primary care professionals.

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