RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC)

The RCGP RSC is an internationally renowned source of information, analysis and interpretation of primary care data.

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Established in 1957, the RSC is one of Europe's oldest general practice sentinel networks. It is an active research and surveillance unit that collects and monitors data from over 1700 practices across England and Wales.

The RCGP collaborates with the University of Oxford, and Public Health England in the running of the RSC.

Sign up to join the RSC

Find out more about the work we do in public health, and access the weekly report

Find out more about how we support researchers and their teams to use general practice data

Find out more about the opportunities for practices that are part of the RCGP RSC network

Find out more about the support and resources available for practices that are part of the RCGP RSC network

Research opportunities for RSC members

We are always looking for practices to join the RSC network.

It is well established that 80-90% of health outcomes are linked to social determinants of health. These include health-related behaviours, socioeconomic and environmental factors.

Social prescribing aims to address social determinants of health. NHS England describes social prescribing as “a way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Link workers give people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and taking a holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing. They connect people to community groups and statutory services for practical and emotional support.” Social prescriptions are varied and include activities focused on health, education, skills development, sports and leisure/art activities. If utilised well, they can help to deliver several benefits to individuals and health and care systems including: giving a route for health and care systems to address social determinants of health; promoting self-care; building stronger communities; reducing healthcare service utilisation including GP appointments, secondary care referrals and accident and emergency attendances.

To support the rollout of social prescribing, RCGP and University of Oxford have created a Social Prescribing Observatory, that will be updated weekly. The observatory provides accurate and up to date information about social prescribing and can be found on the orchid website.

The first iteration of the Workload observatory focuses on seasonal illness, and was developed in collaboration with NHS England.

The RCGP is now working with Oxford University to further develop the GP activity aspect of this analysis to take it beyond crude activity and develop our understanding of the more complex aspects of workload and trends over time, along with changing patient demand and related workforce need.

Resources for patients

These resources can be used by practice staff, GPs, PCN staff and others involved in primary care research, it include FAQ’s related to the projects that are run within the RSC, and a number of general resources that can be used for people looking to get involved with research more broadly.

If you have any questions, or would like to hear more about the research activities ongoing within the RCGP RSC or more broadly within the RCGP, please contact research@rcgp.org.uk

Project resources

These resources are relevant if you are currently working on or are looking to get involved with any live RSC projects.

Virology and Serology

Workload

Social Prescribing

Practice resources

These resources can be useful for your practice if you are looking to get involved in research, at any stage of your journey. We have also included some resources on how to shape your practice into a PCN, and undertake research at a PCN level.

Primary Care Networks

Contact RSC

If you have any questions, or would like to hear more about the research activities ongoing within the RCGP RSC or more broadly within the RCGP, please contact research@rcgp.org.uk.