The RAM Panel

The RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method (RAM) Panel is being formed as part of the ReGROUP study to assess the appropriateness and feasibility of policies and strategies for retaining GPs in direct patient care. This part of the research uses a well-established and internationally recognised technique to rate statements or criteria for appropriateness in clinical practice and health policy settings. The level of agreement is used to inform the next stages of development and the stakeholder consultation taking place later in 2017.

Our panellists have been invited from a wide range of GP practices and stakeholder organisations. We have selected the panellists based on their role in managing GP practices and/or their expertise in GP workforce development and retention. The RAM Panel members will receive a summary of the evidence and will be asked to participate in two rounds of online rating exercises. In the second round, they will be shown the group level responses for the first round and asked to review their first response. The median and level of agreement is used for reporting the results from the RAM process.

Why do GPs leave the workforce?

The University of Exeter Medical School has been commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to investigate the factors contributing to GPs’ decisions to leave direct patient care (leading to career breaks or early retirement/retirement before the age of 60).

It is widely recognised that England faces a significant and imminent problem in respect of GP workforce capacity. Some GPs are considering leaving the clinical workforce, and in some places, fewer newly qualified doctors are choosing a career in general practice. There is potential for an important imbalance in the demand for primary care and the capacity to deliver it.

The ReGROUP study aims to explore GPs’ decision-making about taking a break from or leaving direct patient care, and possible ways to facilitate GP retention.

Contact Us

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the researcher directly:
Researcher: Rupa Chilvers 
Project Manager: Emily Fletcher

Further details

Please see further details for RAM Panel members below. More information can also be found on our Workstreams pages.

Our panellists have been invited from a wide range of GP practices and stakeholder organisations. We have selected the panellists based on their role in managing GP Practices, and/or their expertise in GP workforce development and retention. 

There are two rounds in this study and both set of responses are completed using an online web form. In both stages, you will have four weeks to complete the web form, and it will take approximately 30 minutes for each round. You will be able to save your responses and return to complete the web form. Please note that you will not be required to attend a face-to-face meeting at any stage, however, if you do prefer to complete the web form by telephone, this can be arranged at a convenient time.

If you agree to take part, you will be sent an email with information about accessing the Summary of the Evidence and also providing your responses to Round 1. Following your participation in Round 1, we will collate the responses and update the web-based questionnaire with the level of agreement across the group. We will then ask for your final responses in Round 2. If you do not wish to take part, you can inform us at an early stage of the study or let us know at any stage of the process.

You do not have to take part in this study; it is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take part in the research. If you do decide to take part, you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason.

We hope that this part of the project will help us prioritise the policies and strategies being developed regarding the GP workforce in terms of their appropriateness and feasibility. This will be used to inform the next stages of the project and the final report. None of the responses will relate to your personal circumstances and all of the information will be considered as expert input in the absence of conclusive evidence. All the responses will be collated and analysed for level of agreement and individual responses will not be released as part of the report.

The information you give to us as part of the study will be entirely confidential, will be handled and stored securely, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998, and in accordance with research governance guidelines. No information that could reveal your identity will be disclosed to anyone outside of the research team at the Universities of Exeter and Bristol without your permission. Study data will be kept securely for 10 years after which electronic data will be permanently deleted from databases and electronic files.

No third parties will be informed (including fellow panellists) as to your taking part in this study. All correspondence will be individualised and group emails will not be sent out.

The results of this study will be reported to the NHS funding body, published in peer-reviewed academic journals, and may also be presented at scientific conferences. None of the study participants will be identified in any presentation, report or publications arising from the study. If you are interested in obtaining a summary of the results, or a copy of any publication(s), you will be able to ask the research team to send you a copy when the results are available.

The study is being organised by researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School, and the University of Bristol. The study is being funded by a grant from the NIHR’s Health Services & Delivery Research (HS&DR) programme, part of the Department of Health.

The study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Exeter Medical School’s Research Ethics Committee (Reference: 15/11/085). It has also been approved by the Research & Development teams from the relevant NHS trusts where the research is being undertaken.

If you would like more information or have any questions about the RAM Panel study, please contact the researcher, Rupa Chilvers by email ( You can also contact the project manager, Emily Fletcher by email ( or telephone (01392 722826). You can also write to either Rupa or Emily at: University of Exeter Medical School, Smeall Building, St Luke’s Campus, Magdalen Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU.

If you have any complaints about the way in which this study has been carried out please contact the Co-chairs of the University of Exeter Medical School Research Ethics Committee:
Ruth Garside, PhD or Rob Anderson, PhD by email on