Launch of Scottish Clinicians Collaborative Offering Support for Rural Hospitals

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18 Mar 2019

 Recently retired doctors are to return to work as part of a new collaboration to support health services in remote and rural areas.

Under the new Scottish Clinicians Collaborative, which is being developed by the Scottish Government and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, clinicians who have recently retired or are working part-time can take on short-term work to support rural general hospitals where recruitment can be challenging.

 Speaking at the launch at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“We are experiencing a period of unprecedented change and medical education must adapt and evolve to meet the expectations of our healthcare services. Our health service benefits if we can retain the expertise and skills of our most experienced doctors and health professionals.

“We are committed to high quality care to our rural communities. These highly experienced clinicians have told us that they would welcome the opportunity to maintain their clinical interests in more flexible ways, making them ideally suited to working in rural environments.”


Consultant Surgeon Robert Diament retired from NHS Ayrshire and Arran in 2018 and now works as a travelling Locum Consultant Surgeon in Scotland's remote and rural hospitals.

 He said:

“This joint venture is an opportunity for senior consultants from across the country to come together and provide specialist services wherever and whenever they are required. This support is required in some of Scotland's more remote communities where the sustainability of specialist hospital services is particularly challenging.”


Mr Simon Paterson-Brown, Consultant General Surgeon, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh said:

"Recruitment and retention of experienced clinicians in the National Health Service is poor at the moment, particularly in the remote and rural hospitals in Scotland. This Scottish Clinical Collaborative aims to set up a network of experienced health care clinicians (initially surgeons) who could work across all regions in Scotland to help provide high quality care and support the local clinicians where required."

Professor S Michael Griffin, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh commented that:

"RCSEd is delighted to support the Scottish Clinicians Collaborative which aims to set up a network of surgeons and healthcare clinicians who can work all across all of Scotland and can provide the highest quality of patient care to those living in rural areas. RCSEd is always keen to collaborate with the Scottish Government and any other organisation to improve access to and quality of patient care."


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

RCSEd was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, and is the oldest surgical corporation in the world with memberships approaching 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through its interest in education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. Find RCSEd on Twitter and on Facebook

The College is based at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW and can be reached on (0)131 527 1600 or In March 2014, a new base opened in Birmingham, catering to the 80% of the College’s UK membership who are based in England and Wales.

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