Deep End Pioneer Scheme

Photo of mountains at sunrise

The Deep End GP Pioneer Scheme was part of the Scottish Government’s GP Recruitment and Retention Fund and ran between October 2016 and April 2020.

The Lead GP was Dr Petra Sambale and the Academic Co-ordinator was Dr David Blane.

The Pioneer Scheme was inspired by the North Dublin City GP Training Programme and was itself the inspiration for Fairhealth GP Trailblazer Fellowships which now run throughout England. The Pioneer Scheme was cited in the Scottish Government’s report of the Primary Care Health Inequalities Short-Life Working Group published in March 2022. Indeed, one of the foundational recommendations of the report was to "Implement a national programme of multi-disciplinary postgraduate training fellowships in health inequalities".

Herald Society logoThe Deep End GP Pioneer scheme was shortlisted as a finalist in two categories of the 2019 Herald Society Awards:

  • Herald Society Team of the Year (sponsored by Wheatley Group)
  • Health and Social Care Integration Award

Fellowship opportunities

Funding for the second cohort of Pioneer Scheme fellows came to an end in April 2020. 

There are ongoing discussions about a future fellowship scheme, based on learning from Pioneer. We will update this page when further information is available.

About the scheme

The Deep End GP Pioneer Scheme aimed to support recruitment and retention of both early career and experienced general practitioners working in very deprived areas (the Deep End).

The overall aim of the proposal was to develop and establish a change model for general practices serving very deprived areas, involving the recruitment of younger GPs, the retention of experienced GPs and their joint engagement in strengthening the role of general practice as the natural hub of local health systems. 

More about the scheme

Day release programme

If you would like more information about the content of any of these sessions, please email

Day release sessions from Phase 2


CBT and psycho-education for common mental health problems (26 Feb 2020)
LGBT and health inequalities (29 Jan 2020)
FGM (15 Jan 2020)


Gender based violence (11 Dec 2019)
Migrant health (06 Nov 2019)
Drug and alcohol mortality (23 Oct 2019)
Challenge Poverty Week (09 Oct 2019)
Talking about poverty (14 Aug 2019)
Engaging marginalised patients (07 Aug 2019)
Obesity at the Deep End (24 Jul 2019)
Community Links Worker approach (10 Jul 2019)
Self-harm and sexual abuse (26 Jun 2019)
Leadership and resilience (15 May 2019)
Chronic pain (17 Apr 2019)
Homeless and Inclusion Health Conference (27 Mar 2019)
Managing difficult consultations (06 Mar 2019)

Summaries of day release sessions from Phase 1


Unworried well (15 Aug 2018)
Psychologically Informed Environments (PIE) training (01 Aug 2018)
Chronic pain (04 Jul 2018)
Sexual health (13 Jun 2018)
Care of the elderly (09 May 2018)
Educational psychology (21 Mar 2018)
Obesity at the Deep End (07 Mar 2018)
Working with others (14 Feb 2018)
Prisoner health (17 Jan 2018)


FGM (20 Dec 2017)
Glasgow Asylum Destitution Action Network (06 Dec 2017)
LGBT health inequalities (15 Nov 2017)
Social model of disability (25 Oct 2017)
Addictions in older adults (27 Sep 2017)
Adult support and protection (13 Sep 2017)
QI tools for GP leadership (23 Aug 2017)
Child protection in the Deep End (02 Aug 2017)
Freedom from torture (19 Jul 2017)
Personality disorder (05 Jul 2017)
Living with poverty (14 Jun 2017)
Chronic pain, trauma and shame (24 May 2017)
Asylum Health Bridging Team (10 May 2017)
Palliative care in the Deep End (26 Apr 2017)
Multiple exclusion/complex consultations (29 Mar 2017)
Complex consultations and trauma (15 Mar 2017)
Learning from the Links Worker Programme (01 Mar 2017)
Financial inclusion (15 Feb 2017)
Violence reduction and domestic violence (01 Feb 2017)
Govan SHIP (18 Jan 2017)


Preventing burnout (21 Dec 2016)
Quality after QOF and Julian Tudor Hart (07 Dec 2016)

Student conferences


Related documents and publications