Under consideration PE1890: Find solutions to recruitment and training challenges for rural healthcare in Scotland
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to find ways for localised training, recruiting and retaining healthcare staff in difficult to recruit positions in Scotland.
Previous action taken
We have contacted and communicated with MSPs Rhoda Grant and Edward Mountain about issues with mental health provision, orthodontics and maternity services for Caithness. They are both very concerned and supportive of additional measures to support healthcare training and recruitment and retention in difficult to recruit areas in Scotland. We have all met with NHS Highland management to discuss ways forward. CHAT have also contacted Universities and spoke to healthcare professionals.
There has been a continued centralisation of primary health services and centralised training for professional healthcare qualifications in specific urban areas. This is having a severe detrimental impact on recruitment to rural areas in Scotland in roles such as midwifery, orthodontics, paediatrics, allied health professionals, psychiatry and mental health services.
An example of this centralised practice is Midwifery. Midwifery training is currently centrally based in three central areas of Scotland.The fast track to midwifery training with Highlands and Islands University has not been financed this year.
Rural challenges have been addressed historically. For example, teaching positions in Scotland used to be difficult to recruit to, but local Universities produced the Child and Youth Studies on-line degree course and PGDE Distance Learning teaching qualification.
The healthcare challenge could be addressed by creating training opportunities locally with clear qualification pathways, allocating affordable housing in hard to recruit areas and enhancing payments for recruitment
This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee