The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is seeking views on how best to address the challenges facing healthcare services in remote and rural areas of Scotland.
Over the summer, the Committee asked stakeholders and members of the public about the key issues and challenges they face, whether working or accessing healthcare in remote and rural areas.
The Committee would now like to hear views on what policies and actions would be most effective in addressing these issues.
The Scottish Government has committed to developing a Remote and Rural Workforce Strategy by the end of 2024 and to establishing a National Centre for Remote and Rural Health and Social Care to improve primary and community services.
This is expected to launch in October 2023.
There are five questions in the committee’s call for views:
- Are there any immediate issues unique to remote and rural communities which the National Centre will need to focus on to improve primary and community care in these areas?
- Are there any issues which the National Centre will be unable to address, which may require further policy action from the Government?
- What would you like to see included in the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Remote and Rural Workforce Strategy?
- What specific workforce related issues should the strategy look to resolve?
- Are there any workforce-related issues which the creation of a Remote and Rural Workforce Strategy alone will not address. If so, what are these issues and what additional action may be required to address them?
Clare Haughey MSP, Convener of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, said:
“People in remote and rural areas face unique challenges when it comes to accessing health and social care.
“Our consultation highlighted several challenges, including the difficulties of recruiting and retaining staff to work in these areas.
“The Scottish Government has made a number of policy commitments to meet the health and social care needs of people living in remote and rural areas, but we want to hear views on whether these proposed actions will help and what more could be done.
“We welcome views from anyone who uses or works in healthcare services in remote and rural areas and are keen that every effort is made to ensure these services meet the needs of local people.”
Respond to the call for views: Healthcare in Remote and Rural Areas – Scottish Parliament – Citizen Space