Tis the season: celebrations at the RCGP

Dr Imran Rafi, Chair of the RCGP Clinical Innovation and Research Centre

Two very special anniversaries were celebrated this month at the RCGP. 2017 marks ten years since the establishment of the RCGP's Clinical Innovation and Research Centre (CIRC) and 50 years since the establishment of the RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC). CIRC was created as a result of the formation of our Clinical Priorities Programme. Spearheaded by Professor Nigel Mathers, until recently the Honorary Secretary for the College, CIRC was created with the aim to support members across clinical areas, using innovation and an evidence based approach to the challenges that members face. 

Over the past ten years programmes in CIRC have supported members enormously; we've held around 40 events per year across the UK, with 20% being held outside of England; created 20 toolkits and other resources such as eLearning modules, webinars, podcasts, top tips and guidelines. CIRC has shaped the primary care landscape by influencing NICE guidelines (co-ordinating responses to over 1,000 consultations on behalf of the College), influencing research funding by the National Institute for Health Research (over £1.5million has been awarded in research grants as a result of priorities identified by CIRC) and creating multiple position and policy statements on various clinical areas including person-centred care, multimorbidity, end of life care and mental health.

One of the jewels in CIRCs crown is the RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) – a centre which was established in 1957 and has been co-ordinated through CIRC since 2007. 2017 marks 50 years that the RCGP RSC has been producing weekly surveillance reports across its network of practices without fail. This means that every week for the last 50 years, data from the RCGP RSC network of practices (currently at around 250 practices) has been collated and analysed, with reports made available each week.

On Tuesday 5 December, the RCGP welcomed a group of 80 individuals from across the UK to raise a glass to CIRC and the RCGP RSC. 

Hosted by Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of RCGP, attendees, including colleagues from CIRC, clinicians that have supported projects in CIRC over the past ten years, the RCGP RSC team (including the University of Surrey), members of the RCGP RSC Advisory Group and other stakeholder organisations that have worked closely with CIRC and the RCGP RSC over the years – heard from a variety of speakers and had an opportunity to reflect on what has been a terrific ten years.

Professor Nigel Mathers, previous Honorary Secretary for RCGP and the founding Chair of CIRC, took the opportunity to expand on the work of CIRC over the past ten years "I'm so proud of the achievements of CIRC, and my hope is it can go on being as productive and valuable for at least another ten years"

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard captured the spirit of the evening when she commented CIRC and our Research and Surveillance Centre are two of the real jewels in our RCGP Crown”.

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