The Scottish parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport committee are investigating barriers and concerns facing people living in areas away from the main centres of population.
The committee wants to hear from members of the public and from healthcare staff to better understand the challenges facing people in our rural area with a view to improving services. According to the National Records of Scotland, ‘accessible’ remote rural areas have seen the greatest population growth over the last decade. While most people still live in cities, around 10.6% more people were living in remote rural areas of Scotland by mid-2021 compared to mid-2011.
Rural areas face specific demographic challenges with a lower proportion of 16- to 44-year-olds and a higher proportion of people aged over 45, particularly those 65 and above.
What are the issues affecting healthcare in rural communities?
Recruitment and retention of health and social care staff, training and access to services have already featured as concerns.
Clare Haughey, convenor of the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee stated,
‘’Scotland’s geography means much of its healthcare is accessed and delivered in remote and rural areas and that’s why the committee is keen to hear of the specific issues impacting healthcare issues in these localities.
‘’We want to hear the experiences of individuals and representatives from the remote and rural areas and from those who work or have worked in remote and rural healthcare, on what they think the particular challenges facing the sector are.
‘’Our inquiry aims to provide a platform for the views of those in remote and rural areas to be heard and our committee is keen to hear from as wide a range of organisations and individuals as possible.’’
Clare Haughey added that hearing from the service providers and the public will help to assess the success of the Scottish government’s efforts to improve the consistency of care.
‘’Sharing your views will help the committee better understand the varied and particular issues facing rural and remote healthcare services and help our scrutiny of the Scottish government and other key stakeholders in their approach to delivering healthcare in these areas.
Views are being sought until 11 August 2023. Your views and ideas can be registered here.
This article is based on a press release by Scotland’s Health and Care News Channel.
We need your help!
The press in our country is dominated by billionaire-owned media, many offshore and avoiding paying tax. We are a citizen journalism publication but still have significant costs.
If you believe in what we do, please consider subscribing to the Bylines Gazette from as little as £2 a month🙏