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Dr Toby Helliwell, recipient of a two year SPCR GP Career Progression Award in 2013, has been awarded a Royal College of General Practitioners fellowship.

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I would like to thank the SPCR for awarding me the GP progression funding. This was critical for me to undertake further research investigating polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis in primary care which allowed me to complete my PhD which has subsequently opened so many opportunities to develop my career in academic general practice."
- Dr Toby Helliwell, GP and NIHR Clinical Lecturer, iPCHS

Dr Toby Helliwell, NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in General Practice at the Research Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences (iPCHS) has been awarded the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) fellowship in recognition of his significant contribution to general practice.

The RCGP is a professional membership body which aims to promote excellence in primary healthcare, playing a lead role in the formation of policy in key areas of general practice. Their Clinical Research and Innovation Centre provides research leadership in primary care, identifying research priorities and sharing outcomes. The College also publish the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP) which is distributed to family practitioners and primary care researchers all over the world. 

The RCGP describes the fellowship as ‘an honour and mark of achievement, which recognises a significant contribution to the health and welfare of the community and the aims of the RCGP or any organisation which benefits general practice.’ The award process for the fellowship however, is a rigorous one, where the candidate is first nominated by a fellow and then supported by two others. The Faculty fellowship committee then go on to rigorously review the applications, making their recommendation to the council where approved candidates are formally elected as fellows at the RCGP annual general meeting.

Being nominated and awarded the FRCGP in my eyes is a huge honour, because others feel you have contributed significantly, but then the college rigorously reviews it too, to see if you are worth the recognition!”
- Dr Toby Helliwell, GP and NIHR Clinical Lecturer, iPCHS

Toby has a achieved a number of clinical and research accolades in his career so far. As a GP Partner he has contributed to clinical practice evaluation, and has supervised and taught 3rd and 5th year medical student placements. As a NIHR Clinical Lecturer in iPCHS, Toby holds both Masters and PhD higher degrees where he has published in peer review journals. Toby was successful in being awarded an SPCR career progression award which allowed him to extend his research investigating polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis. This allowed him to be able to complete and to successfully defend his PhD allowing him to apply for his current Clinical Lecturer post. He has been invited to speak at both National and International conferences. He is the first ever General Practitioner to become an OMERACT (Outcome Measures in Rheumatology) fellow, which is an independent initiative of international health professionals developing standard outcome measurement sets for rheumatology research. Most recently, Toby helped to develop the global health fellowship programme which is a novel recruitment initiative to improve general practice recruitment in the region.

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