Primary care research network progress in Scotland

Frank Sullivan, Alison Hinds, Marie Pitkethly, Shaun Patrick Treweek, Philip Michael John Wilson, Sally Wyke

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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Many developed industrialised countries perceive considerable value in developing practice based research networks. In this paper we describe the development of the Scottish Primary Care Research Network (SPCRN) from 1924-2013.
After a false start in the early 20th Century and some local developments 10-15 years ago the Scottish Primary Care Research Network was finally built upon existing networks of teaching and training practices centred on research active departments of general practice and primary care. This meant that a climate already favourable to research existed and several of the necessary skills were available. Long-term funding commitment to the network by the National Health Service meant that the infrastructure could be developed in the knowledge that it would be likely to become incorporated into wider Scottish and UK systems.
Two-thirds of Scottish practices regularly participate in research at a rate of 50-60 studies each year, which result in a range of publications that influence clinical decisions and health policy.
As the success of the network grows, greater demands are placed upon it and the capacity of practices to continue to engage in research may be tested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of General Practice
Issue number4
Early online date27 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Primary Care
  • General Practice
  • Health Services Research
  • Clinical Trials


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