Undergraduate medical education: recommendations

A series of recommendations to increase undergraduate medical education in Scotland by enabling more general practice based teaching in primary care.


Recommendation 1 (Scottish Government and Health Boards)

Capital investment in primary care by Health Boards must include provision of fit for purpose space that can be used for educating the primary care workforce of the future.

Recommendation 2 (Scottish Government)

The new NHS Scotland Capital Investment Strategy is due to be published shortly. It is recommended that this should make the case for investment in primary and community care facilities recognising specifically the need to include facilities to train the workforce of the future.

Recommendation 3 (Scottish Government)

The SWAN (Scotland wide Area Network) programme should develop direct ties and representation with the R100 (Reaching 100%) delivery team in Scottish Government both to better understand the timeframes for the remaining very hard to reach locations and to influence decisions on how the R100 priorities are decided about which locations should be prioritised i.e. those where GP surgeries are without connectivity and could therefore have access accelerated.

Recommendation 4 (Universities and Health Boards)

Universities currently have information on problems with broadband and Wi-Fi access for their students. To provide a national picture, Universities and Health Boards should survey digital access for undergraduate teaching practices and premises across Scotland and plan to address access difficulties where this is possible, over the next 12 months.

Recommendation 5 (Universities/ NES ACT)

The tariff for clinical teaching in primary care (category A) should rise from £40 per student per session to £85. A ceiling value of £255 for three or more students should apply. Current falls in practice teaching capacity across Scotland suggest that this should be implemented as quickly as possible.

Recommendation 6 (Universities/ NES ACT)

Further work needs to be done by NES together with relevant stakeholders to streamline the current range of category B tariffs in Primary Care ACT. This should produce a simplified range of tariffs applicable to all medical schools within 12 months.

Recommendation 7 (Universities/ Board for Academic Medicine/ Universities Scotland/ Scottish Funding Council)

As part of progressing UG education in primary care, each medical school should develop over the next 12 months the outline implementation plan that they have submitted (chapter 5) for increasing teaching in primary care, as well as a strategy to develop and grow the GP educator workforce to increase teaching capacity. This should ensure that GP educators have a strong and effective voice within school decision making structures.

Recommendation 8 (Universities/ BfAM/ Universities Scotland/ Scottish Funding Council)

A national level group for GP Heads of Teaching or equivalent in Scotland reporting to the Scottish Deans Medical Education Group should be formally established. The aims of this should be to strengthen educational leadership, build on the implementation plans referred to in recommendation 7, and share innovations to increase capacity and further curricular development.

Recommendation 9 (Universities/ Health Boards/ Board for Academic Medicine/ Universities Scotland/ Scottish Funding Council)

Monitoring of these recommendations, supported by the GP Heads of Teaching group, should be undertaken with reports six monthly to the Scottish Deans' Medical Educator Group for review by the Board for Academic Medicine and Scottish Government. There should be an independent review of progress after 12 months.

Recommendation 10 (Universities/ Scottish Funding Council)

The investment involved in increasing undergraduate education in primary care requires rigorous evaluation from the outset. This should include (i) the indexing of all medical students at Scottish Universities at matriculation with a view to linking this data with existing data available through UKMed (ii) further educational research into attitudes of students and graduates in relation to careers in GP, all with a view better to understand the career choices of graduates. A programme of funded educational research will be required.


Email: rachael.fairbairn@gov.scot

Back to top