SAPC: Developing a strategic plan

Academic Primary Care offers solutions to the complex problems facing today’s primary care.

But from talking with members of our discipline, as well as the wider primary care community, we realise that to make a difference we need to do things differently.

In 2013, we set out to update our strategic plan for SAPC and for Academic Primary Care.

Our vision is of the Society for Academic Primary Care sustaining, supporting and developing the discipline of Academic Primary Care (APC), which in turn drives improvements in primary care. APC is integral to high quality primary care; and SAPC is essential to APC. SAPC sits at the heart of the primary care community.

Setting strategic goals

The challenge was to translate this vision into meaningful change on the ground. Based on our conversations with the wider community, we identified 3 key strategic goals for the Society.

  • Championing a vision of advancing primary care through education and research
  • Building and supporting a vibrant APC workforce
  • Creating impact through supporting collaborative action

To help us design and implement plans, we have reviewed and updated the way that SAPC works.

Restructuring SAPC

SAPC is the umbrella organisation for three executive groups functioning in partnership but autonomously: SAPC Exec, HODs and HOTs.

  • SAPC Exec is responsible for overseeing the strategic delivery against SAPC’s goals
  • HODs (the Heads of Departments group) is responsible for overseeing the strategic delivery of academic activity related to University departments
  • HOTs (the Heads of Teaching group) is responsible for overseeing the strategic delivery of academic activity related to University based primary care teaching



SAPC Exec consists of up to 10 elected members and up to 7 co-opted members from across the APC community. This includes 3-4 Officers including Chair, (Vice Chair), Secretary and Treasurer. The Executive team has been reorganised so that each member leads on a key area of work in SAPC’s strategic plan.

Strategic priorities for 2016/17

Championing a vision: raising the profile of APC and SAPC

Our work here focuses on

  • Website redesign supporting an updated communications strategy with a stronger internal and external focus
  • Establishing APOSTLE: a policy focused collaboration between SAPC Exec, HODs and HOTs, the NIHR School for Primary Care Research, the Clinical Researcch Networks and the Royal College of GPs. This group has published on the importance of APC, and submitted evidence to the Health Select Committee Inquiry in to Primary Care

Building a workforce: building capacity to make a difference in Primary Care through education and research

Our career scoping work helped us identify and understand the needs which we are addressing through a range of activities

  • Our Early Career Academic group works to address the needs of our members starting out in academic primary care
  • Our Academic GP group looks at the issues faced by GPs looking to Get In and Get on in APC
  • PHoCuS addresses the specific needs of Primary Healthcare Scientists - those without a medical background
  • Our successful mentorship scheme has been working with PHoCuS members, and will now be extended out to aGP members
  • Our eGP work is a new stream looking at the needs of a growing clinical workforce engaged in academic work
  • We are developing a range of Career Development support workshops, first piloted at our 2015 Annual Scientific Meeting

Impact through collaboration

In a complex and changing primary care world, collaborative working is vital to making a difference. In 2015/16 we are focusing on supporting collaborative impact through