2020 SIGs update

Click here to visit the individual pages for SIGs

SAPC held a virtual meeting to look at Revitalising Special Interest Groups on 27th November.  The meeting was for SIG leads to share updates of their activities.  It was a very good meeting and all agreed how beneficial it was to talk to each other and share ideas.  We plan to make this an annual event for SIGs leads and co-leads.

Here are the updates from the individual SIGs.

Behaviour change

  • The SIG has approx 80 members and has held meetings at the SAPC ASMs
  • Planning activities in 2021


  • The Cancer SIG was restarted 2 years ago and first meeting was at ASM 2019 Exeter
  • The group had a letter published in the Lancet
  • Meeting activities this year were cancelled due to the pandemic
  • Trying to get other specialists involved for collaboration eg health economists and others


  • The SIG started last year and met for the first time at the SAPC ASM 2019 in Exeter.  Since then they have held one more meeting.
  • 12 members of the SIG so far and have had interesting discussions the main benefits so far: collaborative working, reviewing each other’s work on bids, sharing datasets

Compassion publication

Conversation analysis

  • This is a new group with plans in the in the pipeline for 2021 including a masterclass

Dental care

  • General practice dentistry group
  • Established the SIG in 2019 and had a good attendance at a meeting.  The SIG has a link with Dental College and has 30 members who are mainly ACFs/in mid-career
  • Virtual meeting held 5th November: talk on scientific writing, poster presentations, external speaker, collaboration with other SIGS for grant applications
  • One of the purposes of the meeting was to identify links between oral health and systemic health
  • Would like to work with other SIGs, Covid has restricted activities but the SIG is active and enthusiastic

Digital technologies  @DigitalTechPC

  • Meetings were held at ASMs 2020 (London) and 2019 (Exeter) and SW SAPC 2020
  • The group has been kept informed of any recent developments via a newsletter 
  • Planning a joint meeting with the Palliative care SIG in 2021 (postponed from ASM 2020)

Education research

  • Active group meets twice a year around the HOTs meeting (met on Zoom in July)
  • Focuses on early career


  • First meeting was held in Edinburgh 2014 and the group has met 4 or 5 times since at the ASM
  • Key areas are education and HSR in primary care
  • The SIG may need some extra help to develop and take things forward.  Please contact Nadeem.Qureshi@nottingham.ac.uk

Health literacy

Mental health

  • The annual meeting in May was cancelled but the abstracts were published on the SAPC website with a DOI abstract book published on-line in PDF
  • Held two meetings on Zoom – good discussion on 9th Oct -  what has been the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on our research and how we have overcome difficulties/learned to do things differently, and what will be the important mental health research questions over next year? Noted that the downside of the pandemic was that early career researchers struggled to have much contact with senior colleagues due to lack of availability.
  • Twitterfest during the week of the cancelled SAPC ASM 2020 Leeds (13-17 July) of favourite mental health papers
  • Plans so far for 2021: virtual meeting in Jan/Feb and meeting/Twitterfest during ASM 2021

Palliative care

  • Planning a joint meeting with the Digital technologies SIG in 2021 (postponed from ASM 2020)

Physical activity / Exercise as Medicine  @SAPCexerciseSIG

  • Launched and held their first meeting in 2018 (London)
  • 'Physical Activity Masterclass' was held in collaboration with the local CCGs and Public Health England in January and the group now has over 50 members

Patient and public involvement  @SAPCPR

  • Twitter handle is useful for engaging others
  • Planning a virtual meeting with international participants in 2021

Prescribing and Medication Optimisation

  • The group was established this year and has held two meetings both virtually 
  • NIHR Alert published (author Ian Maidment)
  • Members of the group are mainly pharmacists and mentoring is offered with in the group to support new projects

Secure environments

  • This SIG is well established with RCGP and 240 attended a recent virtual meeting
  • Hopes to develop more activity on the research side through the SAPC SIG (Jake Hard spoke at the HOTs meeting July 2019 and held the first SIG meeting that year)

Sexual and reproductive health

  • The SIG held meetings at the ASM in Dublin 2016 and London 2018
  • It has an international panel including members from Australia and Canada
  • A co-lead would be very welcome to help coordinate and develop the SIG - please contact Richard Ma r.ma@imperial.ac.uk 

Skin / dermatology

  • The SIG held its regular January meeting in London.  Future meetings may be virtual to save on time and costs.

Teaching - near peer teaching in primary care

  • Almost 50 members from over 20 institutions
  • First virtual meeting held in September 2020 allowing members to discuss work they were doing in this field and from this created an online repository of supporting literature and shared project resources
  • Next virtual meeting, scheduled for January 2021