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MSPs Back College's Call for Better Support for Rural Surgical Services

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30 Sep 2016

MSPs met with representatives from the College at the Scottish Parliament on 28 September to discuss the findings of a report by the RCSEd about standards for rural surgery. The report highlighted a particular problem with recruitment and retention of consultants in remote and rural areas.

The group agreed that a key factor in protecting services was to review the way medical professionals are recruited, trained and encouraged to develop their careers in rural and remote areas.

Kate Forbes (pictured left), MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: “As someone who has lived in both very urban and also very rural settings, I well understand the difficulties associated with providing a uniform level of care across the board.

“I also recognise that, with increasingly specialist sub-sets within individual hospitals, it is has become increasingly challenging to replicate this level of expertise with doctors who are based rurally.

“This is a major issue for my constituents, and people living across rural Scotland, and the report reaffirmed to me the importance of a tailored focus to rural surgery working alongside the current urban-centred plan on surgical delivery.”

President of the RCSEd, Mr Michael Lavelle-Jones said: “We are very pleased to have met with MSPs to highlight the difficulties facing rural surgical services.

“The RCSEd has set out a comprehensive set of recommendations but chief among these is significant improvement in the support that larger urban hospitals provide to smaller rural hospitals, to keep services as local as possible.

“With the engagement of this group of MSPs, I hope the issue can now be taken forward within the Scottish Parliament.”

Other recommendations include urging medical schools to enroll more students from rural communities and the creation of specific rural surgery training placements and fellowships.


Read the College's report on Standards Informing Delivery of Care in Rural Surgery


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