RCGP Scotland

What we do

Our work includes:

  • Developing initiatives on behalf of members in Scotland
  • Commenting on how UK initiatives and developments will affect Scottish general practice
  • Ensuring that RCGP Scotland continues to be a leading player in primary care development within Scotland
  • Listening to and working with patients, external agencies and members to help deliver the highest standards of general medical practice and excellence in patient care.

How we work

We have four key committees:

  • Scottish Council is the main, democratically elected governance committee, which develops and takes forward strategy for RCGP Scotland
  • Executive Board is a committee of executive officers which meets to prepare discussion and decision material for Council, monitor our work and develop new initiatives or responds to changes in current activities.
  • Scottish AiT and First5 Committee is the representative committee for AiTs and First5s in Scotland, and contributes to the work of Scottish Council and RCGP Scotland.
  • Patient Partnership in Practice (P³), our patient group to represent the patient voice in Scotland, developing ideas and leading activities that encourage GPs to work in partnership most effectively with patients and the public and ensuring the activities of the College respond to patient needs.
  • View the RCGP Scotland operational plan 2017-2018 [PDF] 

Our activities and initiatives

Effective Interface

The term "interface" has crept into our everyday vocabulary when talking about some of the current challenges in providing sustainable and safe healthcare. The interface is the point of interaction between different systems. In healthcare, interfaces exist where a patient journey crosses from one area of care into another such as moving between primary and secondary care, between health and social care and between scheduled and unscheduled care. 

Due to the individual complexity of these different systems, with their differences in aspects such as culture, professional boundaries, governance systems, performance targets and IT systems the interface can be a dangerous place for the patient to navigate. In fact, it is estimated from national patient safety data that around 50% of errors occur at the interface. There are many lessons to be learned and improvements to be made by better understanding of and investment in the interface between primary and secondary care.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scotland recognises this key aspect of inter-professional working in the modern NHS and has pursued a series of approaches to bring about improvement in the interface. The Effective Interface quality improvement module is one outcome from this work.

The Effective Interface module is centred on a half day meeting in a general practice between a GP, practice manager, specialty consultant, hospital service manager and a patient. The practice and the specialty will each bring an interface priority to the meeting. Backed up by previously gathered evidence, the delegates will use the quality improvement tools provided to decide on appropriate changes for improvement. They are likely to use tools such as process mapping and the Plan Do Study Act cycle. Subsequent measurement to assess the impact of change will be carried out and assessed at a meeting three to six months later. Importantly, lessons learnt from this activity will be widely shared both locally and nationally so that change can occur outside the walls of the practice.

Opportunities for personal interaction between GPs and consultants have lessened significantly in recent years and it is hoped that this exercise can help reverse this unfortunate trend. We would encourage you to engage in this process. When you participate your work would form an important part of your CPD learning.

It is important to state that though RCGP Scotland has been leading on the development of this module it has backing from the Scottish Academy of Royal Colleges as no one sector can bring about change in the way the interface works.

Leadership for Integration

Leadership for Integration is a new package of leadership learning support, developed by RCGP Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and the Scottish Social Services Council, designed specifically for primary and social care leaders working in localities or health and social care partnerships to reshape, develop and deliver integrated care. Leadership for Integration is particularly aimed at GP clinical leads and middle or senior managers in statutory, third or independent social care organisations.

The activities in the Leadership for Integration package comprise:

These activities are complementary and learners may apply to participate in one or both of these programmes, depending on their needs and role within integration.

Further information on the Leadership for Integration programmes can be found on the Knowledge Hub.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to attend 'You as a Collaborative Leader' to be considered for the 'Collaborative Leadership in Practice' programme?

No, however if you have not done any leadership development previously, you would probably find it beneficial to undertake both programmes, however this depends upon your own development needs.

  • Can a GP Nurse or Practice Manager apply?

Yes, if a GP Nurse or Practice Manager has a role in shaping and developing integrated services and require leadership development, they should consider applying.

  • My role cuts across the primary care and secondary care interface rather than the health and social care interface, can I apply?

Yes, if your role has whole system impact, you can apply. 

Developing Leadership from Primary Care

The RCGP Scotland and NES joint leadership project explored how to enable and develop the leadership skills  of the independently contracted professions.

The project initially gathered intelligence and produced recommendations, including the need to create the conditions required to enable leadership from primary care and recommendations about the ideal framework for primary care leadership development. There were a number of gaps identified in the provision of leadership development for primary care independently contracted professions, which were prioritised and options to fill them were considered.

Outcomes of the project include:

  • Development of a Practice Based Small Group Learning (PBSGL) leadership module entitled Leadership issues in primary care and beyond, which is also available to Pharmacists, Practice Nurses and teams
  • A webinar with the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM) Values Based Leadership for General Practice
  • Creation of a template to support discussion at the GP appraisal interview for GPs with a positional leadership role beyond the reaches of their own practices  
  • A testing of Action Learning sets with an 'in situ' extended practice team willing to undertake action learning around a 'live problem' for that team
  • Influencing the recruitment of primary care practitioners to the already available strategic leadership development programmes, specifically 'Playing to your Strengths'
  • Submission of the proposal to develop a tripartite leadership programme in conjunction with NES and the Scottish Social Services Council aimed at leadership development focused on integrated working
  • Scoping of a course targeted at practitioners who do not have a positional leadership role outwith their own practice

Treating Access a toolkit for GP practices to improve their patients access to primary care

Developing a Quality Framework for Scottish General PracticeI n 2014 RCGP Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) facilitated a working group to create a Quality Framework to drive quality improvement in Scottish General Practice and to support both RCGP Scotland and Healthcare Improvement Scotland objectives.

The joint working group included representation from the British Medical Association, NHS Education for Scotland, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Scottish Government, RCGP Scotland, practice nursing, practice management and lay representation.

The strategic working document describes existing quality improvement activities within general practice, determines where any gaps might be and makes a number of recommendations for future priorities.  

Returning to General Practice in Scotland

To help GPs who have been out of active practice or who have been working outside the UK and are considering returning or coming to work in Scottish General Practice, NHS Education Scotland offers two distinct programmes: the Scotland GP Returner programme and the Scotland GP Enhanced Induction Programme. You may be eligible for either programme which will be tailored around individual leaning needs assessments. These programmes are funded by the Scottish Government, providing applicants with a salary to support them whilst on the programme. More information about the programmes and other important information is available on the NHS Education for Scotland's National Returner Programme.

RCGP Scotland Publications


GP Recruitment – Non GP Trainee Survey Report

In addressing the challenges of recruitment to general practice and to meaningfully promote general practice as a career, it is important for us to have as wide an understanding as possible of the factors which influence doctors' choice of specialty. To add to the existing evidence and broaden our understanding of why current Specialty Trainees in Scotland did not choose general practice, RCGP Scotland conducted a survey in 2017 to explore what had influenced their choice of specialty.

The results from this survey once again highlight the importance of the experience at undergraduate and foundation training levels in influencing career choice. It further emphasises how attachments to general practice are essential to enhancing GP recruitment and how we, as GPs, can significantly influence recruitment to our specialty given the opportunity. 

Useful Links

  • Welfare Advice Service Facilitator website helps embed welfare rights and money advisors within GP practices and primary care services.
  • Carers resource a downloadable PDF and information sheet developed for GPs by P³, The Scottish Government and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers
  • SIGN - Evidence based clinical practice guidelines for the NHS
  • Information and resources for GPs on end of life care in Scotland
  • Visit the RCGP Videos YouTube channel, sessions from our recent successful conference, Compassion in Primary Healthcare; Politics, Conflicts and Opportunities. Organised by RCGP Scotland with the Primary Care Ethics Forum, The Royal Society of Medicine and the Think About Health Network this event provided a unique forum for practitioners to examine the delivery of compassionate care that is sustainable and meaningful.
  • On 11 June 2014, RCGP Scotland held a conference 'Refreshing General Practice in Scotland: Essence Quality and Empowerment', which explored the Essence of General Practice, Quality Improvement, Leadership and Communities. The conference comprised a range of keynote lectures and interactive workshops and was well received by delegates.

For those who were unable to come or would like to listen to the speeches again, we have comprised an audio recording of the opening remarks, keynote lectures and closing remarks.

  • Opening remarks from Mr Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing
  • Keynote speech from Dr John Gillies, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Scotland
  • Keynote speech from Dr Anna Stavdal, GP in Oslo and WONCA Europe Vice President
  • Closing remarks from Dr Maureen Baker, Chair, RCGP. 

Other information

We have a range of rooms available for hire in our city centre offices.

Local Faculties

As well as a base in central Edinburgh, we have five regional faculty offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Contact us

RCGP Scotland, 25 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JX

Email: infoscotland@rcgp.org.uk
Telephone: 020 3188 7730

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