Remote and Rural General Practice Working Group minutes: January 2020

Minutes from the Remote and Rural General Practice Working Group meeting in January 2020.

Attendees and apologies

Attendees and apologies

Group members:

  • Colin Angus, Chair, Patient Representative, P3 Group, RCGP
  • Dr Andrew Cowie, Deputy Chair, SGPC
  • Pamela Dudek, Chief Officer, Moray Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Joanne Jenkins, Senior Nurse, NHS Lanarkshire
  • Dr Denise MacFarlane, GP, NHS Grampian
  • Dr Alida McGregor, Chair, RGPAS (GP, A and B)
  • Patricia Moultrie, Deputy Chair, SGPC
  • Dr Kirsty Robinson, GP, NHS Borders
  • Dr Charlie Siderfin, GP. NHS Orkney
  • Dr Chris Williams, RCGP Scotland Representative
  • Dr Tony Wilkinson, GP, NHS Orkney 

British Medical Association:

  • David Prince, SGPC

Scottish Government Officials (Primary Care Division):

  • Naureen Ahmad, Head of GP Contract Development and Implementation
  • Teja Bapuram, Policy Officer
  • Andrew Chapman, Team Leader
  • Fiona Duff, Senior Primary Care Advisor
  • Katie Gambier-Ross, Researcher
  • Aidan Grisewood, Head of Primary Care Division
  • Joe McKeown, Implementation Policy Manager
  • Neil Robertson, Team Leader
  • Michael Taylor, Policy Manager
  • Alicja Wilk, Policy Officer


  • Dr Jonathan Ball, GP, NHS Highland
  • Dr Andrew Buist, Chair, SGPC
  • Dr Paul Davidson, Associate Medical Director, NHS Highland
  • Dr Emma Watson, Associate Medical Director for Quality Improvement, NHS Highland
  • Ralph Roberts, Chief Executive, NHS Borders and Chair, Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative
  • Dr Brian Michie, GP Western Isles
  • Joan Pollard, Associate AHP Director, Dumfries and Galloway 

Items and actions

Item 3: Actions from last workshop- Prehospital Emergency Care Fund and Options Appraisal 

Item 4: Dr Alida MacGregor and Joyce Robinson presented on the progress of and challenges around implementing the contract across Argyll and Bute. Their engagement across 33 of its practices highlighted that the project team leads/HSCP need to factor in remote and rural and very small practice support into their budget planning. They spoke about how this engagement is informing their Options Appraisal Process, and highlighted barriers to service redesign such as lack of capacity, premises, and data control (non-practice employed staff having access to records).

Item 5: The Rural Report 

The RRGPWG published a report providing advice and recommendations to the Scottish Government on ways to ensure that the views of rural clinicians and communities are better recognised in primary care policy development.

Item 6: The Scottish General Practitioners Committee welcomed the report, and reiterated their commitment to maintain the income and expenses guarantee and to ensure that future iterations/phases of the contract will provide long-term sustainable footing for rural practices.

Item 7: Workshop #1 – Workplan 2020-2021

An initial work plan for 20-21 was briefly discussed by the group with following discussions planned for the next rural meeting.

Item 9: Workshop #2- Centre for Rural Excellence

General agreement that the four pillars rightly capture the work of the Centre. Members welcomed a joined up approach to establishing a centre. Some suggested Public Health’s involvement, while some questioned this approach. 

Some members were hesitant for the centre to cover social care, while some raised their concerns around making the scope too broad and its associated risks. They agreed that the scope of the centre can be expanded in the future. Similarly, one member suggested that social care has different set of stakeholders and would require a different approach in getting them on board. While other questioned if social care research/networks are as connected/developed. 

Members agreed that the Centre could play a key role in bringing together a range of well-established organisations, and could be set up or moved around as regional hubs. While some raised questions such as who has the ownership, who provides governance etc. The Centre could promote safe, sustainable, evidence based approach to health care, and could become the leading voice to inform healthcare policy. 

Members raised a concern around competitive bidding for research/funding.  

Item 11: Closing remarks and AOB

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