Care is best provided by strong District Nurses teams, GPs and Community Hospital. Research needs to be done to looks at total NHS service use in remote rural areas as I believe it is likely to be cheaper to provide care this way in rural areas than in urban areas where there is a high use of A&E and hospital services. The Vaccination Transformation Programme is failing the most vulnerable patienets in rural areas where they are seen as inaccessible and provided at far greater cost. Community Hospitals need enhanced and developed to enable much more care to be provided close to peoples homes. The crisis in GP services is a major risk to the future functioning of the NHS.
I dread having to travel to Inverness from Thurso for specialist care
100% agree with this. Prevention is better than cure and the nursing/primary care teams are vital to keeping patients out of A&E by having adequate access to scanning, pain management and care closer to home.
We all want to be looked after in our own local communities by GPs, Nurses that know us we want to be a patient not a faceless number. We want to have an appointment that lasts longer than 5 mins because there are another 20 people who have also travelled down to Raigmore that day to see the same specialist as you.
Centralisation of bloods deemed "secondary care", previously taken in GP surgeries, is another thing that's not helpful for patients! Primary care should have been funded adequately to maintain care cliser to home!
The vaccination programme is one of the most damaging and controversial introductions to the furure of general practice and particularly in rural and hard to recruit areas. NHS Highland knew this but has proceeded to role out even though their own overspend for delivering their part of the Covid vaccination programme as over £7.5 million but delivered better + cheaper by GP practices. NHSH have not been made accountable for this excessive overspend. This has taken a key aspect of general practice away, that cradle to the grave support where that unique opportunity to see patients in a generally well capacity to catch up,for a dr or nurse interacts with you and see if you are well/unwell. These are the unsung gifts of general practice.
"Nail on the head!" Surely more investment into preventative services closer to home, within our rural communities is not only more cost effective but more importantly can literally save lives! Proactive, personalized care, rather than a more centralized, more often than not reactive care approach way down the line.
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