Recruitment, retention and skills in remote and rural areas

Recruitment, retention and skills in remote and rural areas

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) believes recruitment and retention of healthcare staff to remote and rural areas is an increasing challenge and key issue. In some rural areas there have been no applications to vacant consultant posts. The traditional approach of doctors applying for fulltime substantive post is no longer the way that rural boards can attract staff. There are more doctors considering hybrid work patterns – this put pressure back on the fulltime substantive post holders and can affect the number of trainers per board. Remote and rural areas have a reliance on locums and hybrid workers in order to provide frontline services. The benefit in kind tax is having a detrimental impact on willingness of doctors travelling to remote and rural areas to work. Health boards can be asked to increase hourly pay rate to help compensate for this. There are a wide range of other issues the RCPE would like to see a focus on including: the lack of suitable and affordable accommodation for rural healthcare staff, enhancing the generalist skillset for doctors working in rural areas, ensuring equal access to training opportunities, supporting trainers in rural areas, how the medical workforce sits alongside other clinicians with advanced practice skills, and how clinicians in remote and rural settings can find the time to undertake research and development.


this means that remote rural Centres of Excellence could be developed to train remote rural, as well as urban based staff and to improve their skillsets and understanding.

I am a rural healthcare worker and recruitement/retention of colleagues is a significant issue

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