Rural GP Kate MacGregor is RCGP Scotland GP of the Year

From Argyll to Inner City Glasgow, GPs Awarded for Their Outstanding Care

The Royal College of GPs Scotland has announced the winners of the prestigious, annual GP of the Year and Practice Team of the Year awards.

Dr Kate MacGregor, RCGP Scotland GP of the Year

This year’s recipient of GP of the Year is Dr Kate MacGregor, a GP from Taynuilt Medical Practice in Argyll and Bute, a remote and rural practice. Dr MacGregor was nominated for the award by the family of a patient who suffered with Multiple System Atrophy, a rare condition. Dr MacGregor worked hard to get to grips with the disease, making sure the continuity of care offered to the patient was not broken, co-ordinating the care the patient received with specialists and a wider team, offering her personal mobile number, checking on them while she was abroad, offering care to the family and trying, as far as she could, to ensure that care could be received in the patient’s rural home, saving them difficult seven hour round trips to hospital.

It is Dr MacGregor’s compassion that led the partner of the patient to say that she should be ‘held up as an example to the public of the genuine difference that the GP can make to patients and their families at what can be the bleakest point of their lives.’ He said, ‘I cannot tell you how relieved we were to have a GP take ‘ownership’ of [his partner’s] care,’

The Practice Team of the Year is Garscadden Burn Medical Practice in Drumchapel, Glasgow. An inner city, urban practice, the team form one of the hundred Deep End practices that serve communities in the most deprived areas of Scotland, where Health Inequalities are rife. Dr Peter Cawston, Partner at the practice, and his team have worked to find new ways of working in an effort to improve the health and life chances of their local community. They have attached a Community Links Worker to their team and instigated ‘an entirely different, holistic approach to patient care rooted in the Drumchapel community.’ They offer social prescribing and networking with other local organisations has ‘become the norm’. The team practices what it preaches as a result of these changes and so yoga classes now form part of their own routine.

Speaking from his practice in Dingwall, Dr Miles Mack, Chair of RCGP Scotland, said:

“It is wonderful to see these awards go to two such diverse practices, representing the breadth of communities, and the breadth of GPs within them, who make up Scottish life and health. GPs really are at the heart of Scotland’s communities.

“Dr Kate MacGregor makes me proud to be a GP. The way she has taken on the difficulties blocking good care for her patients is a great example of the lifelong care GPs give families as a whole. Realising that her options from the wider healthcare system were going to be limited for this patient, because of their location, Dr MacGregor showed real gumption, took matters into her own hands and allowed her patient to receive continuous, trusted care beyond what seemed to be possible. That’s great general practice.

“In the case of Garscadden Burn Medical Practice, Dr Peter Cawston and his team have led the way in showing what a practice can offer to its community in times of real stress on the system. They have broadened what they can provide and worked together to build what is a truly inspiring resource for the people of Drumchapel. They are, obviously, an integral part of the community.

“At a time when GP services are under such severe stress throughout the country, these GPs and their teams exemplify just how vital the GP service is to Scottish life and communities. We see 90% of patients’ contact with the NHS in Scotland. It is a career to aspire to and a service that holds our communities together. Let us hope that decision makers’ support for general practice will grow to allow patients this sort of care as an expectation and let us hope that the doctors of tomorrow will be inspired to play such a vital role in their patients’ lives and will make general practice their professional choice.”

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