RCGP Council 20.6.20

Council meeting 20.6.20

RCGP Members can access minutes here:

A historic first as we had a RCGP council meeting via Zoom due to the current COVID crisis. 

Welcome and Chair report by Martin Marshall with explanation of process and reason for this extraordinary meeting

An explanation by Hon Sec Victoria Tzortziou-Brown on the Zoom process and how functions will work. 

Approval of standing orders and apologies for absences, DOI and IG and welcome of first time faculty reps, other seats and observers. 

Chair general announcements

This was started with an update on the RCGP plans with regards to the BlackLivesMatter campaign in response to the death of George Floyd. 

Martin outlined several changes the college had made which will be detailed in a press release in addition to the existing ones made here. This was punctuated by an emergency motion brought by the North East London faculty for a detailed and formal response by the college. This motion was seconded by a national elected rep. 

A clear request was made for action and publication of these actions and in particular the feeling this is relevant to healthcare due to the evidence of impact for those from ethnic backgrounds with COVID cases. 

On this matter I was a late speaker for which many points were made, mine were:

In addition to the existing points, one other part I would like to see some on the potential bystander work being done is looking at how practices and GPs can be supported to tackle racism by patients. Having been victim to this several times and colleagues have as well been asked to see a white doctor or not to see the Asian or black doctor is a challenge that many of us face and sometimes, that which we even stand by and either laugh it off or at the time fear trying to educate/correct the patients due to perceived recriminations for whatever reason that maybe. I think that training and support should be offered on how to  support our colleagues to further tackle racism by patients as well as how we can support our patients to better understand this as well thank you

The motion was reworded given that the initial motion did not ask a question that could be voted on. Unfortunately I could not capture this in written format but the theme was to support a plan for clear action and develop more resources to support BAME colleagues. 

64 yes

1 no

1 abstain

I voted yes.

(some votes pending due to errors with the system)

Further updates were given on work on care homes, redesign of services in the healthcare service, however compounded by recognition that some areas have had a different experience especially held by our Prime Minister relating to his ITU admission and concern about reversal of some of the work done to support primary care pre-COVID. 

Following this, we heard of the deaths of colleagues including those as a result of COVID including those of non -members given the healthcare situation. A moment’s silence was held for these individuals.

We then had an update by RCGP trustees. This is confidential. 

We then had a discussion about faculties and the financial position of the RCGP. This was partially delayed for the upcoming paper on this

We had the update from the RCGP COO which outlined all the internal changes that happened as a result of COVID

In response to this I had to leave the meeting to join Andy for our regular eGPlearning podcast where we talked about N365 (Microsoft Office) access to NHS staff and its uses in primary care, what RCGP council is like via a video conferencing route and the massive announcement about our TPP SystmOne online summit which you can join by this booking link:


I joined  back at the discussion about the RCGP post COVID. This focused on the complexity of remote working, equity of access, integrated care especially with secondary care and the concern of the workload dump and wellbeing of the profession including the appropriateness of appraisal and revalidation.

A vibrant and engaging debate that showed the breadth of primary care and that the existing documents needed adaptation to reflect the changes that have occurred and whom they are speaking with. These along with other elements relating to the papers on the RCGP response to COVID will help inform policy. 

Despite being tech focussed I didn’t ‘speak’ on many of the topics, mainly as a lot of my points were made – have we seen the right tech shift in action? Also using the chat enabled many of my points and clarifications to be heard which was a nice extra to the new method of council. 

RCGP Faculties motion

This was taken and submitted by a combination of faculties (12 in total) and spoke to clear concerns about communication, transparency and not wanting to be making errors on decisions that can have untoward consequences. 

Various discussion points were made about engagement, trusting the office bearers and processes with synergy of the work that is already being done and benefits of working at scale. This was compounded but the underlying anxiety held in faculties about being done too and a shift to merge faculties and loss of identity and that tech should support engagement but not make us lose our own identity. 

Much of the debate also focussed on the wording , need for vote and conflation of the process hampered by using a web system as well, complicated by the late submission of the paper as an emergency motion. Already overrunning atby half an hour a vote was held with several members of council having already left. This was after RCGP process was explained. 

A vote was held on the reworded motions:

1.   A cessation of further change ​that would significantly destabilise the existing core functions of faculties or will result in faculty mergers until full consultation with faculties is completed.  It is our proposal that this review includes Faculty governance, Officer roles, core Faculty offer to members, localised offers to members including income generating CPD offers, communication, engagement, digital solutions, regional cooperation, estates and two way lines of accountability.  We have written to the Officers of our College on 20th May 2020 offering a task and finish group and Chair leadership to enable this action.

Yes 39

No 16

Abstain 7

I voted Yes


2.       A thorough, urgent open internal review of our College financial situation so far and the reasons for it incorporating a recovery plan, to assess the viability of anticipated outcomes of the CIPs [cost improvement plans] under different scenarios. We would wish this to be reported to Trustees, Council and Faculty Officers in detail, within 3 months to allow further mitigation if needed.

Yes 23 

No 31

Abstain (missed the results)

I voted Yes. 

These results are pending some members having left due to time constraints. 

We then had regional updates which were exceptionally brief but showcased much fo the work done by the devolved nations as per their written updates in the members section

The meeting was concluded. 

I noted the chat during the meeting was rich and detailed and provided a lot of extra content and context that was missing from previous meetings. I hope this is an element that can be continued if/when we head back to F2F meetings. 

Next RCGP council meeting 18th Sept 2020

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