RCGP Council report Sept 2021 (Final)

Join me for my final RCGP Council report as I step down as a nationally elected representative to the RCGP Council. please check your MyRCGP section for links to the papers.

This session includes:

Chairs report

I, unfortunately, missed this because of issues at home meaning I could not attend in person. I did join via Zoom in the first hybrid RCGP council meeting which I appreciate was a new experience for all including the officers, but a route I felt enhanced the accessibility for the meetings and one I hope will continue.

I did speak in response and made comments about the challenges faced by GPs currently particularly with the damaging media campaign against General Practice. I asked for better attention to the public relations approach and that a softly-softly approach which has been the status quo was not effective and has not worked to date. I asked for the RCGP to lead on providing resources (like this video) for practices to share with their local populations on the accurate challenges faced and why access is difficult as most GPs and practices do not have the headspace to do this.

Voting for a new Honorary Secretary and vice-chair of professional development and standards of the RCGP

We heard hustings from the single candidate for Hon sec and four candidates standing for vice-chair (two were as a job share).

I can not share the comments but the most pertinent to me was a new representative to council for their faculty asking for clarity on the process of the elections and how best to represent their faculty with the choice. This spoke to me on the need for an effective onboarding pack for the RCGP council. It has been a steep learning curve on joining the council and still seeing the difficulty many new representatives have in knowing the governance and process of this colossal meeting.

Confidential discussions

I cannot discuss these items because of their confidential nature, apparently.

Chief Officer Report

This initially was dominated by a discussion on more governance over elections.

We then had updates on changes to the RCA (currently being scoped) and 30 ES given HS2.

Drug-related harms paper

This paper looked at support to tackle education and awareness of drug-related harm, particularly in deprived populations.

Non-GP Doctors in primary care:

Council is asked to consider the implications of widening the primary care workforce to accommodate a non-GP grade of doctor, and whether the College should undertake further work to inform more detailed debate and discussion on the issue

Due to timing, I was not able to speak and I agree that the truncation of the debate due to time did not mean there was agreement to proceed. If I had the opportunity to speak I planned to say the following:


‘On a daily basis, I am treated as a community house officer by secondary care and other areas of the healthcare system and public. I fear this paper and outcomes will lead to the formal creation of this role and further add to the denigration of general practice. I feel it will further confuse clinicians and patients about the type of person they are receiving care from and cheapens the efforts made by those who have achieved CCT. 

I feel the RCGP needs to be part of the discussion but aware the optics of such actions will have wider than their ambition to prop up general practice because of system failures to do so properly.’

Reducing unnecessary workload in General Practice

Council is asked to review the paper and discuss the questions outlined below to steer our research, policy, and campaign work on this topic.

The discussion again was curtailed due to time. Several colleagues made excellent points about workload dumps, data integrity, and challenging the status quo.

I made points about supporting practices with locally tackling the negative media challenges as nationally is larger than any GP or practice can achieve, but speaking locally with our patients and resources to help do that is something the RCGP can directly engage with.

I, unfortunately, forgot to make my points about the burden supervision has placed on GPs directly, while helpful is often not resourced and further leading to the burden on primary care to prop up the rest of the NHS.

Update on Awards review

This was deferred due to the overrunning of the meetings

Motion regarding Safeguarding Training

A montion was brought on safeguarding training with the folowing questions

  1. Call upon RCGP to work with partners to increase the flexibility of
    safeguarding training, to allow for areas of adult and child safeguarding to be considered as similar and in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, to decrease the requirement for participative training and allow a grace period for achieving the requirements as GPs and staff recover from the pandemic.
  1. To work with partners to articulate a requirement for general practitioners and those who work in general practice, that more appropriately reflects the types of work and educational needs of primary care staff.
  2. Ask the Officers to: –
    a. Establish criteria to be satisfied by any training guidance created by
    b. Review whether the CPD offer from the RCGP is or should be sufficient to support all GPs in meeting their regulatory requirements
    c. Review how CPD can be provided locally and nationally to support adult learners

I voted yes to all with each motion passing with a yes with at least 91%.

RCGP sustainability and climate change activity update

Paper was received and commented for the work it had done. I am keen to see hybrid meetings continue as a default for the RCGP to support a lower environmental impact by the RCGP.

Devolved nations updates

Apologies I missed this section. Aside from the end of term of two of our devolved leaders.

Further papers were taken for reading.

Final reflections

This is my final RCGP council meeting. I have enjoyed being part of council. Some will ask why am I not continuing.
Simply I forgot to apply as at the time it was Easter and the workload pressures we faced meant I forgot.

In deeper reflection, this is not something I regret. Representing my peers at council has been a pleasure and a privilege. I hope over my tenure I have brought challenge, passion, and in some small way change to RCGP council. But in doing so my perspective of the RCGP has changed. I find the bureaucracy and adherence to governance in place of common sense (to me) frustrating and has felt like bordering on pedantry.

I am likely to apply again as I know I have not achieved what I wanted in my tenure because of timing.

I do wonder if they will let me back in, but that is for my fellow members of the RCGP to decide.

One reply on “RCGP Council report Sept 2021 (Final)”

We urgently need a strong statement re constant pressure on GP to see all patients f2f.
Either yes we can and see 25/day but no time to do phonecalls e consults and risk other patients and staff catching COVID in waiting room
Or we carry on with triage and bring in as clinically appropriate.

We need your strong support in this!

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