Our conference is set to go ahead on the 8-10 November 2018, in Inverness at the Craigmonie Hotel.
HOWEVER, we have regretfully had to make changes to the usual format, and we are not able to run the student scholarship scheme that has been a successful and vibrant component of past RGPAS conferences.
The RGPAS Committee has reflected on the current challenges to rural practice in Scotland. Implementation of the new GP contract has created much extra work, anxiety and uncertainty amongst our members. As a result, we aim to offer a programme focussing on pragmatic support and guidance to our members.
Our members and committee are busy rural GPs, and we have been stretched further by the implementation of a non-rural-proofed GP contract. We believe that this has devalued and threatened many of the existing services and skills provided to Scotland’s communities by GP-led practice teams. We need to consider our strategic response as an organisation and as individual members.
Booking details will be provided as soon as possible.
We intend to provide more detail on our current concerns in the next few weeks, including our perspective on progress with initiatives such as the rural Short Life Working Group. Our summary document ‘Looking at the Right Map?’ remains our reference point for our ongoing concerns about the new contract. There have, however, been additional concerns raised since that publication including:
- the feasibility of rural multidisciplinary teams and pharmacy support
- recognition of the workload created by seasonal spikes of temporary residents
- the sustainability of additional services offered by rural practices
- the safety and efficacy of the proposed vaccinations programme, which is to be provided by health boards
- the effect of the new contract on capacity for undergraduate teaching
- the effect of the contract on GP recruitment and retention in rural areas
In the meantime, we apologise in particular to the many students who have already contacted us with an interest in rural practice, and hope that we can offer our student scholarships again next year.