Our Aims
To bring joy into General Practice: to GPs, to practices, to the wider Primary Care Team and most importantly to patients.

We believe that happy doctors tend to be good doctors and that joy across General Practice can be supported by:

  • A clear understanding of the values that drive the multidisciplinary team that makes up General Practice
  • An emphasis on team work and mutual support
  • Creating an environment where the skills and experience of individual practitioners are valued and listened to
  • An openness to new ideas, lateral thinking and creativity
  • A commitment to patient-centred care, education and continuous improvement
  • Novel and flexible working patterns that suit GPs and their teams at different stages of their careers and family lives
  • Maximising the impact of experienced GPs on patient care and the effective running of practices
  • Providing fulfilling, challenging and supported places of work.
  • Fostering collaborative working relationships between individuals, practices, professional groups and Health Boards

Our Values
The values of NHS Scotland are:

  • Care and Compassion
  • Dignity and Respect
  • Openness, Honesty and Responsibility
  • Quality and Teamwork

Rediscover the Joy places these values at the centre of its philosophy and encourages flexibility of thinking to develop new ways of working, empowerment of practitioners and collaboration. The project aims to support and invigorate the GPs within its teams whilst supporting practices, some of which will be struggling with significant sustainability issues.

Scotland GP Support Team
This scheme comprises individual GPs working as a wider team of GPs. Frequent videoconferencing and social media message group connect the team to facilitate mutual support and a vehicle for continuous improvement.

'Rediscover the Joy' is a collaborative project across the Scottish Health Boards, coordinated by the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative. The first pilot was run between NHS Shetland, Western Isles, Orkney and Highland in 2019. This recruited GPs from around the UK to its Rural GP Support Team.

How else is this different to a GP locum agency?
Practices undertake to provide a comprehensive induction and will support GPs to gain evidence required for their appraisal. Both practices and GPs are asked to provide constructive feedback at the end of each attachment to facilitate learning and quality improvement. Mentoring and co-mentoring is available, along with appraisal and revalidation structures for those who require it.

We ask team members to consider providing 2 weeks a year of very short notice cover. This is to particularly support single-handed and small practices at times of sickness or when compassionate leave is required.

Supporting Practices
There are a huge variety of practices across Scotland, for example:

  • Remote and rural single-handed
  • Large city practices
  • Affluent populations
  • Areas of extreme deprivation
  • Areas with high substance misuse
  • Practices providing care for specific populations eg: homeless citizens, refugees and asylum seekers.

Some practices have found GP recruitment difficult in recent years, creating significant pressures. Attachments may come with challenges. Part of the joy, beyond delivering good care, can come from supporting those working around you and helping practices to develop. Rediscover the Joy aims to provide high quality GP support, covering leave and vacancies but also additional capacity.

By providing our very experienced GPs, the Highlands and Islands Rural GP Support Team have been able to provide an exceptional level of service and support. Practices can be provided with “head space” to review and develop their services towards long term sustainability.

If you are a Practice wishing to advertise your position with the Hub, or a GP wishing to find out more about the application process, please contact our HR Hub, based in NHS Shetland, on 01595 743000 ext 3467, or e-mail shet.hrhub@nhs.scot, to discuss what you are looking for, the opportunities we can provide, and the ways we can support you.