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RCGP forced to rethink plans to modernise and become a ‘global brand’

The RCGP has been forced to redraft ambitious plans to overhaul its organisational structure, boost income and become ‘a global brand’, after concerns from grassroots GPs that they will have less input in running the college.

Documents seen by Pulse describe a new framework for the RCGP, with a ‘more corporate’ planning process and measures to improve its finances through making efficiency savings and increasing its commercial income through the College’s education activity overseas.

(Read the full documents here)

The plan would split the College into five new departments, each with its own executive director, with RCGP faculties and devolved councils relegated to an ‘external affairs’ department.

But the proposals have met with stiff opposition from RCGP faculty representatives, with one telling Pulse the plan was ‘fundamentally flawed’.

Dr Euan Lawson, RCGP Council representative for the Cumbria faculty, said while he was generally supportive of the restructure, his faculty had requested a series of changes.

‘We felt that there were some adjustments that needed to be made to ensure the faculties remained strong with local education,’ he said.

‘There was some anxiety to make sure the balance was right, to make sure that we didn’t all get sucked into a very top-down organisation.’

Another RCGP faculty representative, who asked not to be named, said the reorganisation would centralise finances and ‘marginalise’ GP voices, and had proved unpopular with Council representatives.

The source said: ‘The chairman and chief executive are proposing a top-down reorganisation of the College. The outcome being that the faculties and devolved councils, which represent the College’s 44,000 grassroots members, will be marginalised in an “External Affairs” department. This is centralisation at its best.’

RCGP chief executive Neil Hunt said a ‘number of specific issues’ were raised over the draft proposal at the Council meeting last week.

‘The RCGP is looking to modernise its organisation. The aim is to develop the capacity to undertake new work, strengthen our membership services, increase our agility and ensure all parts of the College work together in an effective and efficient way.’

‘A draft proposal was provided to Council. A number of specific issues were raised which Council need to consider further. Council has instructed me to review some aspects of the paper and revisit it in June.’