RCGP Scotland Clinician Representative


Reducing Alcohol Related Harms

Number of clinical sessions available

Up to 15 sessions


RCGP sessional rate for 2023/24 £235.58 per session.

Travel and subsistence expenses are available in accordance with the RCGP Travel, Subsistence, and Expenses Policy and payable on receipt of an RCGP Scotland claim form which must be submitted monthly.

Start date

January 2024

Approximate duration

6-9 months

Purpose of the role

The intention is to produce educational materials, including webinars and online resources, to support Practice Nurses and others who undertake preventative work in the field of alcohol harms. This will aid conversations about reducing alcohol consumption, but will also bring embedded approaches to reducing stigma, in ways that are accessible to members of the wider team.

This work will be guided by the Deputy Chair (Policy) of RCGP Scotland and will work closely with the Director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), Elinor Jayne, and Chair, Alastair MacGilchrist, who in turn are accountable to SHAAP’s Steering Group and who would provide information and share expertise. Administrative support will be provided by the RCGP Scotland staff team.

Background to the role

RCGP Scotland was one of the founder members of SHAAP in 2006 and continues to be represented on its steering group. SHAAP’s aims are to research and highlight alcohol harms in Scotland, and support evidence-based initiatives that reduce those. It works closely with the Scottish Government, the public, including those with lived experience, and colleagues in health and social care and the third sector. It has recently strengthened its ambition to instigate and support activities leading to demonstrable change. SHAAP’s website outlines further details of its work.

GPs and the extended practice teams undertake the vast majority of chronic disease management and associated primary and secondary preventative advice. High alcohol consumption is associated with physical and mental ill health including liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and many cancers, all very prevalent in Scotland. Over 20% of the Scottish population regularly drinks over the CMO low risk guidelines. Primary care clinicians may want to learn more about how to approach discussions with patients.

Stigma associated with alcohol problems can prevent people from seeking help, so GPs and the practice team have an important role in ensuring patients do not feel stigmatised in any interactions they may have. SHAAP has been a leader in approaches to reducing stigma, including for instance its recent work deepening the understanding of the LGBTQ+ community and difficulties with alcohol1, and stigma in the media2.

There is evidence that palliative care is well-developed for those with liver cancer, but less so for other end-stage liver diseases relating to alcohol. That can be made more difficult because of the less predictable course of alcohol-related cirrhosis and liver failure, and that so much depends on whether people are able to reduce or stop drinking. Managing a terminal illness where ongoing alcohol use is problematic provides additional challenge. The hope would be to develop some guidance that could be used by primary care teams, potentially after this project is completed, if there is demand.


  1. What are LGBTQ+ people’s experiences of alcohol services in Scotland? A qualitative study of service users and service providers. 408.html (shaap.org.uk). 2022.
  2. Videos (shaap.org.uk)

Key Tasks

  1. Work with members of SHAAP and other relevant professionals to develop a range of educational materials including webinars and online resources suitable for dissemination to practice nurses and the wider multi-disciplinary team.
  2. Engage with practice nurses and GPs to ensure that the materials produced are effective and appropriate.
  3. Liaise with RCGP Scotland and SHAAP to ensure that the materials produced are effectively disseminated to GPs, practice nurses, practice receptionists, and other members of the wider practice team.
  4. Work with members of SHAAP to scope demand for the development of guidance on managing a terminal illness related to ongoing alcohol use.
  5. Update the Deputy Chair (Policy) and Head of RCGP Scotland regularly with progress.


  • Develop the allocated portfolio of work - reducing alcohol related harms - on behalf of the College in Scotland along parameters agreed with the Deputy Chair of RCGP Scottish Council and with input from the staff team.
  • Develop a range of educational materials including webinars and online resources to support Practice Nurses and others who undertake preventative work in the field of alcohol harms.
  • Ensure that members of RCGP Scotland Executive Committee are aware of issues, requirements for resources, key developments, and opportunities for reducing alcohol- related harms in College activities.
  • Bring items of concern, issues requiring guidance, and ideas to be shared and developed in relation to reducing alcohol-related harm to the RCGP Scotland Executive Committee.
  • Take forward agreed actions within your remit and ensure that RCGP Scotland Executive Committee and RCGP Scottish Council are aware of the outcomes within agreed timescales.
  • Provide regular update reports and, if applicable, an end of project report to RCGP Scotland Governance structures such as the Executive Committee and Scottish Council.
  • Identify and monitor risks, keeping the Deputy Chair informed of any difficulties or opportunities encountered as part of the role.
  • Liaise with the Head of RCGP Scotland in terms of interaction with staff, support in relation to personal development, and in guidance relating to the context of current areas of work.
  • Work with other Clinician Representatives and Scottish Council Officers to take forward the aims and objectives of the College in Scotland.

Essential Attributes

  • Member or Fellow of RCGP in good standing.
  • Three years post-CCT qualification (or equivalent).
  • Experience of developing and/or delivering educational initiatives.
  • Excellent networking and relationship building skills.
  • Background knowledge of current healthcare structure in Scotland.
  • Strong interest in training and education for GPs and the wider practice team.
  • Excellent communication skills.

Desirable Attributes

  • Interest in strategies designed to reduce alcohol-related harms.

How to apply

To apply for this role please submit your CV along with a short covering letter outlining your experience to infoscotland@rcgp.org.uk.

Closing date: midnight on Sunday, 10 December 2023.

For further information please contact us at: infoscotland@rcgp.org.uk


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