RCGP National Council reflections 22.2.19

What follows are my reflections from the RCGP Council meeting. I have tried my best to keep them but did flag a little towards the end. For clarity here is my pre-council video asking for your input:

At the start of the meeting we stood for fallen members of the college.

Chairs report

We have a review of the pre-council meeting talking about the contracts with Richard Vautrey and Dominic Hardy.

GPFV Ambassador programme will be closing. Decision made due to the changing political landscape and shift to NHSLongterm Plan. This is England only.

A challenge on various topics such as sponsorship, sepsis strategy and more. A key aspect was on the cost of fellowship and this should be either reduced or stopped to promote members becoming fellows. RCGP Council was assured that the process is cost neutral but because of low numbers the cost was significant

Update on RCGP faculties having an increase in capitation (kind of like general practice) moving from ~£7 per member to £9 per member. Contact your faculty to make sure they are using their resources for your benefit as a member. This included signposting to a new membership engagement called for now ‘Membership in your Pocket’ as the new digital offering from the RCGP.

RCGP now has 53K members plus.

Brexit update on the RCGP position- Helen wrote an update that went to all party political areas involved in health. This was then mentioned in various fora including the health select committee. Additional focus on the supply of medications for

Indemnity- the message is that this is live, and will be sorted even if the indemnity companies and others claim no knowledge. As of 1.4.19 you and all general practice staff are covered for clinical work. You will require personal cover for private work and GMC issues,

Long Term plan synthesis is given. Impressive and detailed synthesis on the process, We were informed that this document was too detailed to be shared with the whole membership. One thing I enjoyed was Helen Stokes-Lampard’s analogy of PCNs and Lego see this tweet:

PCNs as Lego

I stood and asked if this document can still be shared in some format given the depth and synthesis would be useful particularly for those trying to affect change in PCNs. Helen did say this will be formatted for members.

Then had regional updates from the devolved nations. Key challenges were the ehr change away from EMIS in Wales, not enough pharmacy techs, flu vaccs changes in NI


Approved tweet of the RCGP council meeting to show what it looks like in session. I apologise for the earlier version sent by accident (and deleted quickly – but social media is instant).

The Policy section:

A vision for the future of General Practice.

A discussion on the paper revolved about the reworked document. Looking at the roles of GPs in 2030. Several points were made about the body being of quality and suggestion, some aspects were short such as on outcomes training and teaching.

I did not speak as many of my points were already stated.

The document will be taken back for rewording

Policy campaign priorities.

The RCGP council confirmed the policies moving forward for a year are :

  • Wellbeing: supporting GPs with their workload
  • Restoring the status and attractiveness of general practice as a career
  • Interface between primary care and secondary and social care.

The discussion was not on these areas so much of my collection work, unfortunately, was not relevant to speak at this point. However further discussion was that this process will change and move to 3 year priorities from next year with two chosen by the membership and one by the new chair. This was discussed and accepted.

One key point I tweeted about was the RCGP Vale of Trent own work which won them the Vibrant Faculty award on our primary-secondary care interface video here:

Decriminalisation of Abortion

We discussed the decriminalisation of Abortion paper and voted to accept the vote. This was passed. See official tweets on this on the @rcgp twitter feed.

GP out of hours paper –

This paper was brought back from the last RCGP council meeting with some changes on wording particularly on hours (decision not to recommend a minimum) and remote supervision (allowed but not the standard).

Lunch – involving a choir and me folding on my Keto diet for some very tasty crumble.
Partnership review paper

We discussed the partnership review. This was based on the document being received rather than able to change the document as it has been released and with Government to deal with.

Responses – How will limited liability be dealt with- this is unknown, similar with purchasing partnerships.

The challenge of pensions was raised and how this will work, it was recognised that this needs dealing with and some positive discussions are taking place.

The concept that partners are the leaders of local areas was challenged and that locums and salaried doctors should be just as valid.

I spoke on the prospect that digitalization is positive but who guide on the digitization of notes as this will be the responsibility of partners. Also, I reiterated my comments about the omission of a baseline increase in the global sum. Although this is now more positive in the new GP contract I still feel the omission is a frustrating aspect that damages the professional view of the review. Finally asking for who will lead on the changes given we are now waiting still for an official response.

My comments were not responded to in session.

CPD Strategy

The new CPD strategy was discussed. This included looking at strategic partnerships for delivery, improved elearning and libraries and a focus on faculties.

I spoke on being cautious with choosing providers to work with given the reputational damage it causes. Also that many educational companies are linked with eportfolios and this may be an unintended consequence of aligning members to an eportfolio they have or not have.

I was positive about the GP requisites change for mandatory training being done by the college rather than done to us, and a request for courses for faculty and council members.

The last point was on the background of many representatives asking for courses less in focus on clinical aspects which can be sourced from a variety places but fewer exist on non-clinical courses for primary care such as shared decision making, network working etc.

Accreditation of GPs with extended clinical skills.

This was a discussion paper about asking the RCGP council to continue to support the work to help GPs work in other areas. This created a lot of debate particular aspects of dual indemnity (will be covered by the new NHS Resolutions) and the commitment to bring a more details report back to the council on the process. There was no dissent on the aims but no vote held.

Rethinking Medicine.

This was a paper brought by Martin Marshall see the website rethinkingmedicine and comparisons between work done in devolved nations and the Bevan commission.

Martin Marshall responded by saying the paper is not about doing more but doing things differently, and across the whole team.


A summary which showed improvement in engagement and numbers. There are clear plans to improve the membership offer with much due in the next few months.


New fellows were approved with 6 new fellows from Vale of Trent. A wider discussion on the value and process of fellowship is ongoing and live on Twitter during the #RCGPCouncil


The RCGP is reviewing its policy on sponsorship, particularly from the formula milk industry. This was done at the request of the RCGP trustee board. The recommendations were accepted which include no longer accepting any new sponsorship from formula milk companies.

A short life working group will be created to look at the wider policy.

Process for elections.

This was explained and confirmed

I spoke on asking the dates for submission for the videos to be equal particularly as the date for creating videos is after Brexit.

I am aware many of you commented on the differing process of elections for Chair and President. I did not comment on this due to a more effective way of making this agenda clear.

Date of next meeting was confirmed as 22.6.19

If you wish to feedback to me on any of these matters or challenge me on aspects contact me below:

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