Shaping the Future Together: Remote and Rural General Practice Working Group report

Report of the first year of work of the Remote and Rural General Practice Working Group.

Annex B – Revised Working Group Terms of Reference 2019/20


To provide advice and give recommendations to the Scottish Government and Scottish General Practitioners Committee (SGPC) of the British Medical Association (BMA) on ways to ensure that the views of remote and rural general practices, including island practices, are recognised and taken account of in rural primary care policy development. The Group may cover any issue relevant to rural primary care (including social care) but in particular, the Group will focus on:

  • Monitoring, providing advice and making recommendations to Scottish Government and HSCPs on the implementation of the 2018 GMS Contract and Memorandum of Understanding in remote, rural and island areas;
  • When appropriate, providing advice to Scottish Government and SGPC on remote and rural aspects of the current and future iterations of the GMS Contract (including phase two);
  • Monitoring, making recommendations and evaluating the use of the Rural Fund;
  • Providing advice to the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative and any other identified bodies with an interest in rural healthcare on shaping their work programmes;
  • Providing advice to National NHS Boards and Bodies on shaping their assistance to primary care providers in rural and remote settings.


  • The Membership of the Group will include Scottish Government, British Medical Association, Health Boards, HSCPs, Rural Clinicians, Scottish Health Council and Patient Representation. The clinical membership should include representatives from both General Practitioners and the multi-disciplinary team.


  • The Group will be chaired by Sir Lewis Ritchie and the secretariat will be provided by Scottish Government. Sir Lewis will sign off on all deliverables produced by the Group, ensuring that these are developed collaboratively.
  • The Group will report to the Cabinet Secretary of Health and Sport via the GMS Oversight Group
  • Where appropriate, the Group may establish sub-groups regarding specific issues. The Dispensing Short-Life Working Group is an example of a sub-group and will hereon be considered a sub-group of the Working Group.


  • The Group will meet up to four times a year and may correspond more frequently through email discussion.
  • The Group will usually be organised as roundtable and workshop-style discussions.


  • A minute will be published within two weeks of each Group meeting.
  • The Group will make recommendations every year on how the Rural Fund should be used.
  • The Group will make a short statement provided every year on the Primary Care Improvement Plan process.
  • The Group will provide an annual report to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport to include a description of the group’s activities, including stakeholder engagement, evidence gathering, and lessons learned, and a summary of its recommendations. The Scottish Government and BMA will respond to this report.



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