Our Doctors

Dr Peter Copp, Medical Director

Born and schooled locally, Peter A J Copp qualified from the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 1984. His postgraduate career quickly drew him into primary care with prolonged diversions into Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Psychiatry. Before entering mainstream general practice in Edinburgh, he spent a considerable period living and working abroad with around 18 months based on the island of Bermuda, with additional work in Australia/NZ. These experiences subsequently led him to consider other ways to deliver primary care services on behalf of his own patients. He was a full-time GP in Dalkeith from 1992 to 1997. He obtained further postgraduate qualifications in musculoskeletal medicine/Rheumatology from the University of Bath and in Occupational Medicine.

In one of the most pioneering pieces of large-scale UK General Practice research (conducted by Prof Howie in Edinburgh) to try to ‘measure’ patient satisfaction: he was awarded the highest patient enablement index score of all the medical practitioners who were studied. Asked informally by one of the researchers what he did in the consultation room, he replied “I simply take my time and do what I’m trained to do”

Peter then took a courageous leap and left the NHS completely and went to set up Scotland’s first dedicated private primary care service and GP Plus opened its doors in November 1999. Since then, it has flourished to become Scotland’s top service of its kind and will be celebrating its 22nd birthday in 2021. Over these years it has focused primarily upon the provision of unhurried and entirely client centric private primary care consultations and almost exclusively to the self-funded market. Interaction and liaison with the individuals NHS GP take place as and when and according to individual consent and very best practice. A range of other services include those of the business-to-business variety and the provision of more boutique-formatted services in the Occupational Health field. Early customers included Deutsche Bank/RBS and Wood Mackenzie. Peter became the Senior Medical Board advisor for RBS until 2010. He was a central figure in the £5M project to fund a 640 slice CT (first of its type outside Japan) which has since been handed over to the Queen Mothers Research Institute in Edinburgh University. GP Plus has also provided niche support services for a wide/diverse range of organisations such as the Educational Institute of Scotland: Seafish Industry Authority; The Institute of Chartered Accountancy in Scotland and many of the city’s top legal firms. It has been a long-standing provider of local and overseas services to Capricorn Energy PLC. For many years, Peter lectured to the Year 3 medical students in Edinburgh University on Low Back Pain and soft-tissue Rheumatic Disorders. In more recent times Dr Copp was asked to develop a set of workshops for the Judicial Institute of Scotland and a course was developed as support the entire judiciary about resilience training.

At a personal level, Dr Copp has always been heavily involved in sporting pursuits for all his life and in the earlier years captained rugby soccer and cricket. He has run many marathons and undertaken epic cycle journeys and enjoys diverse travelling and all traditional outdoor pursuits including hillwalking and skiing. Fishing for small trout or big-game fishing (tag and release) are equally appealing. His garden has become his major distraction over the past year or so.

Peter purchased back all the shares in the “family” company he originally set up in 1999: having had to endure a complex and demanding legal journey which included a trip to the Court of Session in Scotland. This is now fully completed and following a period of deeper reflection, reorientation, personal upheaval, and relocation to an amazing facility on 24 Dundas Street: he is ready and poised to take GP Plus successfully into the 2020s and beyond. New and exciting opportunities await and GP Plus has agreed to co-fund (with The Bridge Awards) and support a new entirely philanthropic project with the Edinburgh Art College whereby third year students will create new and original pieces of work to be curated and displayed within the unique clinic facility and eventually sold on. Miss Isabelle Van Rosmalen will be working closely with all concerned to make this another niche success.

Dr Copp adds “It looks like we will have a lot to celebrate in our 22nd year of operations and we must continue to strive to be the best at what we do. I thank all of our dedicated staff who share our passion to do so and a profound thanks to all of our loyal clients whose focus upon excellence over price has solidly underpinned our entire journey”. He adds “new clients such as the Witherby Publishing Group offer us another opportunity to raise the game with something quite new, niche and exciting. In this flourishing digital age, the old-fashioned personal relationship is still kingpin; but there is always scope to try to have the very best of both worlds…” He adds: “It has also been rewarding to maintain a fully reliable service to our service users all the way through the major disruption of SARS COV2 and whilst adopting appropriate risk-based safety measures, still trying hard to provide patients an experience in a familiar, comfortable, and a minimally disrupted environment. This has been of considerable solace to many, at a time of great anxiety and personal/family challenge”.


Dr Catherine Smith, Private GP

Dr Catherine Smith grew up in the Scottish Borders before pursuing a life-long dream to study medicine at the University of Glasgow, graduating in 2003.

Early in her career, Catherine completed her junior doctor placements in the south of England.  She then returned to Scotland and settled in Edinburgh in 2004 where Catherine enjoyed the diversity of her hospital rotations across a range of specialisms, including medicine, A&E, obstetrics & gynaecology and paediatrics at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Hospital and Borders General Hospital along with working in Sydney, Australia.  However, Catherine’s love for a long-term career in general practice had been ignited during her time at Medical school in Glasgow and she was keen to return to the role that she knew was meant for her.

Catherine’s commitment to getting to know her patients as individuals and taking the time to understand their unique clinical and support needs is demonstrated in the excellent patient centred care she provides.

Catherine has been a partner at Edinburgh’s busy city centre West End Medical Practice for the past eleven years, where she continues to provide all aspects of NHS primary care.  Her chosen specialist interest is in Women’s Health, where Catherine brings expert knowledge gained from her diplomas in Family Planning, Obstetrics & Gynaecology.  She also worked for several years at Edinburgh’s former Dean Terrace Family Planning Clinic and currently manages the contraceptive service at the West End Medical Practice, providing contraceptive implants and coils.

Using her dedication to general practice to assist in medical education, Catherine has been a GP trainer within the NHS for several years.

Catherine has also recently taken on a role within the Lothian Medical Committee, where she is directly involved in driving change and influencing quality improvement within general practice.

Outside of her work, Catherine lives with her husband, two children and very excitable spaniel.  She enjoys running, cycling, Pilates, tennis, socialising with friends and ferrying her children around their various activities.