Archive | RGPAS

Advertise for low cost on can help with publicising your vacancy.  Until recently we provided this service for free to anyone who wrote in.  However, to reflect the ongoing funding that is provided by RGPAS to cover server costs, we have decided to make this a membership benefit to RGPAS members.

However, if you wish to advertise, and are not in a position to join RGPAS we now have a very inexpensive means by which advertising can remain available to them.  In return for a single donation of £60 (other options exist for multiple adverts),  a single advert can be posted online.  We will use this as a means to generate an income stream to the RGPAS Educational Fund in order that we can offer scholarships to medical students – to attend the RGPAS conferences and perhaps electives too. remains a voluntary enterprise, and no individual gains any financial benefit from this new advertising structure.  However, we hope that this will allow RGPAS to support medical students more effectively, and encourage more rural GPs in Scotland to become members of RGPAS – only £20 per year and with more benefits alongside advertising!

You can find out more here.


Image reproduced under Creative Commons: Lauren Mitchell
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RGPAS – Conference 5th – 7th November 2015

newlogosquaretextThe Rural GP Association of Scotland (formerly RPAS) will be holding their annual conference on 5th – 7th November 2015, once again at the Craigmonie Hotel in Inverness.

Details about the programme will be issued soon.  One to put in the diary!  Following the successful introduction last year of offering a number of medical student scholarships, we will be doing the same again this year.

Watch this space… meantime, take a look at the new RGPAS website and Facebook pages.  And you can follow the RGPAS Twitter account @RuralGPScot.

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RPAS rebranded: RGPAS for Rural GPs across Scotland

Since 2004 the Remote Practitioners’ Association has represented remote and rural GPs across Scotland.  Prior to that it existed for over 30 years as the Inducement Practitioners’ Association.



However at its 2014 AGM, held during the RPAS annual conference in November, it was decided (with subsequent consensus from its membership) to change to the Rural GPs’ Association of Scotland.  Why?  Well as with its previous name changes, it is important to evolve to reflect the ever changing situation of rural practice in Scotland.  With increased political interest, and galvanised efforts to highlight the challenges and opportunities within rural practice, we have seen increasingly consistent reference made to ‘rural GPs’.

What’s changed?

The core elements remain the same.  Its current members will likely notice little immediate change.  However, we hope to improve engagement and membership benefits for younger rural GPs, as well as a more active involvement of trainees and students who see their future in rural practice.

The definition of rurality and remoteness remain interesting academic points.  However, the core feature of rural practice is being able to deliver an extended range of generalist medical services, in areas which are further away from secondary care.  Over the next few months, we intend to highlight a number of important issues including access to undergraduate rural placements, sharing good clinical practice, and improving the profile of rural practice including on social media. will continue to feature articles and news from RGPAS, but there is now a dedicated microsite including details of latest activity, and how to join.  Find it here, at:



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RPAS Conference Student Scholarships 2014

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

Things are heating up for this year’s RPAS 2014 conference, to be held in Inverness from Thursday 6th November.  A full programme is planned, spanning a range of topics relevant to rural general practice.

We are pleased to announce the introduction of RPAS Conference Student Scholarships – to enable up to seven medical students to attend with expenses paid.  In addition we have subsidised the cost of student registration fees, to make it more possible for students who have an interest in rural practice, to attend.

What’s on offer?

  • 4 free student places, including Thursday night’s accommodation at the Craigmonie Hotel
  • 3 free students places (not including accommodation)
  • a reduced rate for all other students who wish to attend – £25 conference fee (reduced from £100) for the full programme

Who’s eligible to apply?

You must be an undergraduate medical student at a Scottish university (intercalated, international and mature students also welcome to apply).  We are keen to hear from any students who have an interest in general or rural practice.

How do I apply?

Simples… complete the form below – closing date Friday 10th October 2014.  Please specify whether you require accommodation on the Thursday.  We’ll get back to you a few days after the closing date, either to confirm you’ve been successful with a scholarship, or to offer you a discounted rate to attend the conference.

Closing date now passed.  Thanks for all entries, we’ve been in touch with all successful applicants.  If you wish to attend the conference at a reduced student rate of £25 (for Thursday & Friday) please see this page.

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GP Update – one day update for GPs, Registrars & Practice Nurses

team 13 cu wRed Whale runs a number of courses across the country, including their flagship ‘GP Update’.  Each year they try to coincide the timing of their Inverness course with the RPAS Conference, which this year runs on 6th-8th November 2014: GP Update will run on the day (Wednesday) before, so that if you’re booking travel and locums, hopefully this makes the course slightly more accessible.

Provided by the Red Whale team (new name, same team, same format – for the GP Update team), they aim to bring all the relevant and useful updates for GPs to one day – and with plenty of entertainment thrown in too!

A range of supporting elements are made available to course participants too: including the GP Update handbook, an online handbook, CPD recording area on the GP Update website, and a range of suggested focussed learning activities.

RPAS enjoys a friendly link with the GP Update Course providers (not financial) and hopes that the teamwork in coinciding the dates of their conference with the course, is helpful to rural & remote GPs across Scotland.

For more details, you can visit the GP update course website or watch the video below.

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RPAS Conference 2014 – Programme now available

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

The annual RPAS (Remote Practitioners’ Association of Scotland) conference will be held on Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th November 2014.  As with tradition, it will once again be held at the Craigmonie Hotel in Inverness.

The programme includes a keynote speech from Mr Alex Neil MSP, and Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing, on the Thursday afternoon at 2pm.

Also speaking are Mr Quentin Cox on orthopaedic injuries in rural practice, and an update from the Scottish Ambulance Service by Dr James Ward, SAS Medical Director.  There will be an intriguing talk from Dr Martin Wilson on ‘Square Pegs and Round Holes’ and a Drama Triangle workshop by Dr Andrew Tressider, who will come all the way up from Somerset.

In line with previous years, RPAS has managed to coincide the conference to fit with the GP Update course, which takes place on Wednesday 5th November.  We’ve featured what GP Update can offer in a separate post – you can also take a look at their website where you can find out more info about rates and course content.

For booking form and programme, see the links below.  Hope to see you there!

Conference Programme    Booking Form

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RPAS Conference – Date for the Diary!

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

The annual RPAS (Remote Practitioners’ Association of Scotland) conference will this year be held on Thursday 6th to Saturday 8th November 2014.  As with tradition, it will once again be held at the Craigmonie Hotel in Inverness.

A full programme is being worked on at present by Stuart Cairns and Catherine Todd.  Full details will be provided here in the next few weeks.

In line with previous years, RPAS has managed to coincide the conference to fit with the GP Update course, which takes place on Wednesday 5th November, also in November.  We’ll feature what GP Update can offer in a future post, but meantime take a look at their website where you can find out more info about rates and course content.


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RPAS Conference 2013 – a great meeting

This year's conference included BASICS Scotland workshops.

This year’s conference included BASICS Scotland workshops.

The RPAS 2013 Conference was held successfully at the start of November.

Access to all the presentations is now available at this page.

Much thought-provoking discussion was stimulated, particularly in areas of recruitment & retention and aligning rural health care with developments in secondary care – such as in sepsis and acute coronary syndrome.

A twitter feed also resulted from the conference.  You can view this here.  We even had some real-time input from Australia, which was inspiring.

Watch out for details of RPAS 2014 – likely to be similar time next year.

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RPAS Conference 2013


Details have been released about this year’s RPAS (Remote Practitioners’ Association of Scotland) annual conference, to be held in Inverness on November 7-9th 2013.

A topical programme has been carefully planned, including:

  • Training, Recruitment & Retention in Scottish Remote & Rural General Practice : Dr John Gillies, Chair RCGP Scotland
  • BASICS Scotland workstations to refresh those emergency skills
  • An RCGP-led workshop on Deprivation in Rural Practice
  • Updates on Sepsis and Cardiology from specialists: Dr Grant Franklin (Raigmore Hospital), Dr Antonia Reed (East Highland OOH), and Professor Stephen Leslie (Raigmore Hospital/University of Stirling)
  • A behind-the-scenes report of the Arran Snow Crisis by Dr David Hogg: rural GP in Arran and Medical Incident Officer during the crisis

The annual RPAS Dinner will take place on the Friday evening, followed by the AGM on the Saturday morning.

All are welcome, whether members or non-members of RPAS.  We are particularly keen to see new faces, including trainees and students.

>> Conference programme

>> Conference booking form



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Fittingly, this is the 200th post to appear on And with this comes the welcome news that interest in the site has never been so high, with groups including RPAS and the Dewar 2012 Centenary opting to have their sites hosted here too.

Updated design

It makes sense. has been attracting over 5,000 visits per month for a sustained period now.  The site has grown into a useful resource (and timeline) for rural practice over the last few years, and its development has allowed it to keep up to date with advances in web design and technology.  We recently updated the site to a new WordPress theme called ‘Canvas’ – which gets excellent reviews and which has already allowed some subtle, but important changes in function.

Just a quick word on that… if you are an Internet Explorer 6 or 7 user, you may not see the site properly… this is a universal problem with responsive design, which works better for most other web browsers, including from smartphones.  If you’re not able to see columns of information, and the site looks a bit bland – please consider upgrading as this will be affecting other sites that you view too.  Meantime, we hope that you have been able to see the benefits from other browsers that you use.

New home

At the recent AGM of the Remote Practitioners’ Association of Scotland, it was very positive to learn that RPAS wishes to support some of the background costs of maintaining connectivity – and this has allowed us to switch to our own server, hosted by the helpful folks at  You may have already noticed a great improvement in speed and reliability of the site, and that’s thanks to a commitment from RPAS to support some of the costs in this move.

Where next? remains an independent resource and welcomes any input from budding bloggers or authors.  It is very easy to set up new author accounts, allowing anyone to write and illustrate an article, and submit it for publishing on the site.  If this appeals to or interests you, please do get in touch.  For a number of years we have also hosted free advertising of jobs, and this is set to continue.

We hope to develop some other materials too.  It’s becoming ever easier to develop video and audio streams, and we hope to do that here more frequently.  With the move to a faster server, it’s even more possible to harness this sort of technology.  Edited by a practising rural GP, it should be fairly easy to suss out some of the more relevant and priority topics that would be worth covering: a lot depends on time available.  Recent efforts have been to focus on recruitment and professional isolation, by engaging with students and trainees, and utilising the RuralGPNetwork email list.

So, thanks to RPAS for committing their support for the site, and thanks to our other supports of

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