As an inspiring College community, we are standing up for our members interests. Together we are demanding action to address workforce shortages and implement solutions to help reduce staff burnout.


Speaking up for the profession

Throughout 2018-19, the focus of our activity in speaking up for the profession centred around the key areas of workforce, Brexit, inclusivity, wellbeing and global health. Scroll down for a summary of actions in each of these areas.


GMC v Bawa Garba

  • Published guidance for trainee doctors following the outcome of the Supreme Court case of GMC v Bawa Garba
  • Called on the GMC to regain the trust of the profession in our submission to the Williams Review into gross negligence in healthcare
  • Following publication of the Williams’ Review we welcomed the recommendation that the GMC should fall into line with other regulators and lose the power of appeal against the findings of doctors’ disciplinary hearings.
  • Welcomed the decision by the Court of Appeal to overturn the High Court’s decision to strike Dr Bawa Garba off the medical register
  • Published an online resource on medical consent

Sir Norman Williams’ Review

  • Issued a joint statement with the Federation of Surgical Specialty Associations in response to the Sir Norman Williams’ review of the processes employed in cases of gross negligence manslaughter involving medical staff
  • Had representation on an independent review group investigating allegations raised against NHS Lothian

Workforce strategy

  • Published recommendations in response to the draft health and care workforce strategy for England “Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future”
  • Called on the Prime Minister to set up a working group involving the Royal Colleges, healthcare practitioners, patients, the public and politicians in developing a long-term funding plan for the NHS
  • Published the annual census of UK physicians in partnership with the other medical royal colleges, and raised concerns for patient safety as result of rota gaps and unfilled posts
  • President, Jackie Taylor spoke at a fringe event at the SNP conference where she called on the Scottish Government to set out its plans to address the current workforce challenges in the NHS, offering the College’s support in finding solutions
  • Welcomed publication of the UK Government’s long term plan and called for a practical, long-term workforce plan to accompany this ambition
  • Called for action on pension changes to prevent experienced NHS consultants leaving the health service

Immigration and visas

  • Welcomed news from the Home Secretary to change UK immigration rules to exempt doctors and nurses from the Tier 2 (General) limit
  • Called on the UK government to make special provision to increase the number of doctors from outside the EEA > submission to the Migration Advisory Committee


  • Committed to positive action to address the gender pay gap in medicine following the publication from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review which showed that in the NHS, two in three consultants are men, and that men earn £1.17 for every £1 earned by women
  • Welcomed leading women in medicine from across the UK gathered in the College on international women’s day. Guests including Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood and the Chair of the GMC Dame Clare Marx joined College President and female guests to celebrate the increasing leadership role played by women in medicine.


  • Joined with a wide range of organisations seeking to ensure that health protection is guaranteed in the EU (Withdrawal) Bill > In response, the UK Government confirmed that the ‘do no harm’ public duty will remain after the UK leaves the EU
  • Welcomed the publication of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee on “The impact of leaving the European Union on health and social care in Scotland”.
  • Published a report on ‘Securing a Healthy Brexit Deal’ outlining our calls from Government to ensure the best outcomes for patients, clinicians and the wider NHS
  • Called for a comprehensive Brexit deal which protects the interests of patients, staff and the NHS, following the publication of a series of planning papers by the UK Government on a ‘no-deal’ Brexit
  • Completed a snap shot survey of our members which formed part of our submission to the House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee’s inquiry into the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on health
  • Partnered with Royal Colleges in Ireland, London and Edinburgh in a discussion on Medicine, Brexit and Beyond event in Belfast
  • Warned politicians that patient safety and access to cross-border healthcare must be protected
  • Joined with presidents of the four physician colleges across the UK and Ireland to call on the UK and Irish governments to ensure that patient safety remains paramount following the UK’s exit from the EU, and that they free movement of staff, patients and medicines across the Irish/UK border is maintained


  • Contributed evidence to the Lord Darzi review of health and care, outlining a vision for the health and care system for the future
  • Supported the development of a free online course created by the University of Glasgow to allow healthcare professionals, and those working with at-risk or vulnerable individuals, to gain a better understanding of suicide and ways to prevent it

Global Health

  • Welcomed the President of Malawi, His Excellence Murtharika, and Dr Alasdair Allan, the Scottish Government Minister for International Development and Europe
  • Welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government on the establishment of the Scottish Global Health Coordination Unit to support NHS Scotland global health work
  • Welcomed professionals from across Scotland to the College to attend the first NHS Scotland Global Citizenship conference
  • Welcomed Livingstone Scholar, Dr Natasha Ngwira, from Malawi to spend a year with us as a senior clinical fellow in general surgery.

Obesity Action Scotland

Twitter Followers
Conference presentations
Political briefings issued
News broadcast appearances
Consultation responses submitted


Make the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

A campaign to ensure the Scottish Government’s new policy included bold and ambitious action to change the food environment around us. We called for action on promotions, advertising, and portion size of foods high in fat, sugar and salt. A successful campaign that saw the Scottish Government commit to action on all of these areas.

Eating Out, Changing the Game

As trends shift and lifestyles evolve, we are increasingly becoming a nation of people who consume food prepared out of home (OOH). This may be in a sit-in restaurant, a drive-through burger bar, a fast-food takeaway, a sandwich shop, a coffee shop or delivered. There are a number of ways the OOH sector can become healthier than it currently is, while continuing to do what it does best – offering tasty food with convenience. Obesity Action Scotland’s campaign focused on the need for action in the following areas:

  • Portion size controls and options
  • Reformulation
  • Restrict promotions
  • Mandatory calorie labelling
  • Better planning and licensing
  • Improved involvement of children in their school day lunchtime meal preferences

Chips to Go study

In August this year we launched the results of our survey of a number of outlets selling chips in Glasgow. This found that portion sizes were on the increase and that an average portion of chips was half the recommended calorie intake for an average woman. This report received significant media and political attention and is clear evidence of the need for change in the out of home sector.

Significant policy developments this year

I believe in "Inclusivity". A wider global networking with different colleagues, including doctors in training, that allows us to exchange and share our skills, knowledge and experiences. In this way, we all will be well connected and motivated each other for a better quality of patient care.

- Moe Thaw Oo

Leadership and action


In 2018-19, we submitted responses to 28 consultation requests covering a wide-range of topics impacting healthcare delivery.

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Leadership lectures

In 2018-19, we hosted 4 President’s Leadership lectures.

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I feel very proud, and also very humbled, to be the College’s first ever female President in our four hundred year history.

- Jackie Taylor



In Autumn 2018, we launched a new membership magazine, VOICE. The introductory message from the incoming President, Professor Jackie Taylor, in the Winter 2018 edition of VOICE was the most viewed article of the year.

Emails and Followers

More than 10,000 people signed up to receive our emails. Our followers on Facebook grew by 14% to 13,605 and our followers on Twitter grew by 28% to 6,520. About 70% of our followers on Facebook live outside the UK, while about 70% of our followers on Twitter are in the UK.

President's Bulletin

We launched our President’s Bulletin in July 2018. The average open rate of 40.4% is well above the industry average (20%).