News Archive 2019

Mental wellbeing, social Isolation and loneliness in rural Scotland content

Mental wellbeing, social Isolation and loneliness in rural Scotland

On the 20th February in partnership with VHS, a workshop was held at The Gathering, in Glasgow.

The workshop, "Mental Wellbeing, Social Isolation and Loneliness in Rural Scotland" was attended by over 100 people from a variety of organisations.

You can now view the Key Messages Report and the PowerPoint presentation from the event.

Support for rural hospitals content

Support for rural hospitals

Retired clinicians supporting local services.

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 in 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 in 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.”

UK First for New Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare content

UK First for New Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare

RDSed News

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has launched the first faculty committed to the provision healthcare for remote and rural area of the world.

Recognising the global need for an institutional body, The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare has been established to ensure that everyone has access to high standards of healthcare regardless of location.

The Faculty will develop and promote new standards for remote and rural healthcare practitioners to ensure the highest level of practitioner excellence. In collaboration with its partners, including organisations within industry and academia, its aim is to support the delivery of equitable, economically-viable access to integrated healthcare – and thereby improve significantly the health and medical outcomes of people living and working in remote and rural areas of the world.

Professor John Duncan OBE, Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, and a driving force of the Faculty’s creation from its earliest conception, said:

“Building on its existing reputation for quality in education and training across surgery, dentistry and pre-hospital care, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is enthusiastic to support this significant development. It is important that a common set of standards enables care to be delivered safely and effectively by the range of healthcare professionals involved. Along with our existing Faculties, the new Faculty will develop a common set of standards and provide assessment and accreditation for the many clinicians providing care in remote and rural environments.”

Many people around the world live in isolated communities and work in industries such as oil and gas, mining and shipping where isolation is a direct challenge to their health and wellbeing. Developing technologies for extending the reach of medicine and care to remote and rural areas are often under-exploited and poorly deployed, given the geographic circumstances. Compared to their urban counterparts, remote and rural inhabitants often experience lower life expectancy and poorer health status.

The Faculty will work to:

  • Build a diverse national and international network of remote and rural healthcare practitioners and contributors from multiple backgrounds, with broadened skills, in a wide range of medical and non-medical fields
  • Create and develop standards and competency frameworks that recognise and support the development of a new category of healthcare professional with broader discipline capacity, enhanced technological awareness and the ambition to achieve sustainable continuous improvement in this field
  • Promote and enhance the use of new and emerging technologies to support an integrated and accessible approach to remote and rural healthcare
  • Support the advancement of research and innovation in areas relevant to remote and rural healthcare
  • Provide a global home that encourages best practice sharing and collaboration for a group of geographically-distributed health practitioners

There is a unique opportunity for both individuals and organisations to affiliate with and contribute to the development of this new Faculty – and become part of a diverse, global multi-disciplinary community. As the Faculty develops, benefits to individuals will include access to a curriculum and assessment framework that caters for the specific needs of those working within remote and rural settings. Member organisations will benefit by showing a demonstrable commitment to remote and rural healthcare and will gain access to independent validation and accreditation as well as valuable opportunities for networking and collaboration.

For further information or to register your interest in joining the Faculty, either as an individual or as an organisation, please contact

Welcome to 2019 from the Scottish Rural Health Partnership (SRHP) content

Welcome to 2019 from the Scottish Rural Health Partnership (SRHP)

Promoting collaborations for excellence in remote and rural healthcare

We're looking forward to another busy year.

Our aim is to provide a single source of knowledge about rural and remote healthcare, to foster collaboration, innovation and idea sharing between our educational, academic, industry, community and NHS members, and to influence and shape rural and remote healthcare policy. We do this through our website, newsletter, social media, regular events, and the project and programmes we participate in.

In 2019 we aim to:

  • Expand our membership and influence, through working in partnership with the Scottish Government and other organisations such as the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative and the national Rural Mental Health Forum
  • Broker new partnerships and collaborations in rural mental health, healthy ageing and digital health
  • Offer new opportunities to participate in research, development and the implementation of projects and programmes related to Rural Health and Wellbeing
  • With Voluntary Health Scotland, run a workshop on rural mental health at the Gathering in February (SECC, Glasgow)
  • With HIE, host 3 Highlands and Islands Ecosystem meetings for rural mental health and active ageing
  • Host Voluntary Health Scotland in March
  • Host an International rural mental health conference in August
  • Host industry events
  • and of course we will continue to disseminate information to our members through: our website, social media, including LinkedIn Groups, and quarterly newsletters.
Scottish Government announces increase in mental health workforce content

Scottish Government announces increase in mental health workforce

Progress towards 800 additional workers in key settings.

More people will be able to access mental health support with over 100 additional mental health workers in key settings recruited across Scotland as of January 2019. This puts the workforce on track to reach 800 additional staff by 2022.

The figures are outlined in the latest quarterly progress report, which provides an update on the Scottish Government’s commitment to increase the number of mental health workers. This increase widens access to dedicated support in key settings like A&Es, GP practices, police station custody suites, and prisons.

Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said:

“It’s hugely encouraging that we are on track to recruit 800 dedicated mental health staff by 2022, in line with the plans set out in our mental health strategy. I can speak from experience when I say a career helping support the mental health of people in need of care can be hugely rewarding.

“We are seeing an increasing demand for mental health support across Scotland in a variety of settings and I want to ensure we can provide the best possible care.

“Through our 10-year Mental Health Strategy we are committed to ensuring people get the right help at the right time, free from stigma, and where mental ill-health is treated with the same commitment as physical ailments.

“I welcome the progress we have made so far, with 39 out 40 actions in our strategy either complete or underway. But I’m determined to go further. We must ensure our services reflect these changing needs and recruitment of over 100 additional mental health workers is a promising step.”


Mental Health Workers Quarterly Performance Report

The second quarterly update is due in April 2019.

The one action in the Mental Health Strategy that is yet to commence is a progress review of the plan in 2022.

Action 15: Setting (WTE)

Financial YearA&ECustody SuiteGP PracticesPrisonsOther settings i.e. third sectorTotal
2018 – 2019 27 1 46 2 30 106

Action 15 within the Mental Health Strategy outlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to funding 800 additional mental health workers in key settings, including all A&Es, all GP practices, every police station custody suite, and to our prisons, ensuring that local provision and support is at the heart of our plans.

Additional Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) Mental Health Workers in post as of 1 January 2019 across key and other settings.

We have agreed a reporting framework with the Chief Officers of Integration Authorities on the development of this commitment and who are recruiting the additional mental health workers for their areas. The reporting framework involves quarterly updates being provided to the Scottish Government on progress including how many additional mental health workers have been recruited.

All 31 Integration Authorities provided detailed data on their confirmed and planned workers to the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership: promoting collaboration for excellence in remote & rural healthcare content

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership: promoting collaboration for excellence in remote & rural healthcare

Making life easier for you

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership (SRHP) is delighted to announce the addition a new remote and rural journal search function on the SRHP page of the UHI website.

With the help of the team in UHI’s Library at the Centre for Health Service, we are able to offer our members and website visitors online access to a number of journal in the field of rural health and open access PubMed articles covering - remote and rural mental health issues, and remote and rural recruitment and retention.

These pages are currently under development so any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Karen O’Hanlon

Business Development Manager

Culture, Health and Wellbeing in Rural Scotland content

Culture, Health and Wellbeing in Rural Scotland

On 26 March 2019, Scottish Rural Health Partnership in collaboration with Voluntary Health Scotland hosted this event exploring culture, health and wellbeing in rural settings, at the University of Highlands and Islands in Inverness.

42 delegates registered from across a range of voluntary and public sector organisations, UHI and the arts and culture sector.

Key Messages Culture, Health, Wellbeing in Rural Scotland



DICATS 2019 Digital Symposium

On the 23th February 2019, Ania Zubala, research fellow at University of the Highlands and Islands, presented at the DICATS 2019 digital symposium about the future of art therapy in the Scottish Highlands. A recording of the presentation is below.


Personalising Realistic Medicine content

Personalising Realistic Medicine

Chief Medical Office Dr Catherine Calderwood, published on the 27th April 2019 her fourth annual report: Personalising Realistic Medicine.

‘My vision reflected what was emerging from my conversations across the country about how people wanted to provide and received care.

‘it was evident back then that the desire to provide a more personalised approach to care was dominating these conversations. I am keen to explore ‘Building a Personalised Approach to Care’.’

The full report is available at Personalising Realistic Medicine

HealthTech Connect content

HealthTech Connect

Is a new online resource provided by NICE to help identify and support new health technologies as they move from inception to adoption in the UK Health and care system.

Register on the HealthTech Connect website.

The Alliance wants your views in order to shape an improved ALISS. content

The Alliance wants your views in order to shape an improved ALISS.

ALISS (A Local Information System for Scotland) is a digital service to help you find help and support close to you when you need it most. 

ALISS is co-produced with people in communities throughout Scotland and is managed by the ALLIANCE.

You can get involved by either attending a workshop or completing the online survey. More information can be found on the Alliance website.

Being Here Final Evaluation content

Being Here Final Evaluation

The Being Here Final Evaluation has just been published.

Being Here project was an initiative to build the sustainability of health and care services in remote and rural areas by developing and testing new delivery models for service provision in Scotland. The project was managed by NHS Highland and funded by the Scottish Government, The University of the Highlands and Islands was subcontracted to carry out some of the research and evaluation component.

Being Here evalutaion - Final Report.