Our engagement with stakeholders in Scotland has also highlighted other concerns related to rural healthcare. These insights come from our qualitative intelligence records of interactions that our Outreach, Public Affairs and senior management teams have had with stakeholders in the healthcare sector. These conversations are often routine engagement with, for example, responsible officers, and were not part of a proactive effort to gather information on rural practice. The issues identified in our records include: • Issues with locum doctors in remote/rural areas where the locum has moved on and the Health Board is unable to progress a patient complaint further. We have been informed that this is a long-standing issue for patients/service users in remote, island and rural communities, particularly where boards struggle to recruit permanent consultant staff. Our GMC Employer Liaison Advisers (ELAs) link together across the UK to ensure that issues about the practice of locums who have moved on from a health board are raised with the responsible officer at the locum agency. Although in many of these instances the concerns may not cross the Fitness to Practice referral threshold, the relevant ELAs can at least ensure that the complaints are addressed and reflected upon in appraisal. • The resilience and capacity of community medical services. • Transport to more advanced care facilities for serious cases. • The general feeling of inequities when it comes to recruitment between rural and urban areas. Further analysis or research would be required to identify the extent of these issues in Scotland, but these findings indicate that the issues are being discussed with us by stakeholders in the healthcare sector.
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This content is created by the open source Your Priorities citizen engagement platform designed by the non profit Citizens Foundation