The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare - Capabilities Framework Invitation to Tender content

The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare - Capabilities Framework Invitation to Tender

Capabilities Framework SOW invitation to Tender

The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh welcomes tender applications for the provision of services to accelerate and facilitate the development of a capabilities framework for remote and rural healthcare professionals.

Sealed tenders are invited from suitably experienced individuals and organisations. The Deadline for submission is 20 April 2020. Applications are to be submitted to For further detail on requirements and timelines please download the attached document FFRH_CF_SOW

Invitation to Tender

Digital Health and Care content

Digital Health and Care


The Digital Technology sector is one of the fastest growing global markets, including in Scotland. The Digital Health and Care sector makes up a significant part of this market. However, a lack of a digitally skilled workforce is restricting the potential for growth of the sector in Scotland. Therefore, it is critical that we understand, and support, the current and future skills needs of the digital health and care sector.

To address this need, the Digital Health & Care Institute (DHI), in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS), is carrying out this online consultation to gather employer views on the current and future skills needs in the Digital Health and Care sector.  This survey is aimed at public, private and third sector digital health and care employers across Scotland. We are keen to hear your views on the nature of the sector and the skills challenges that you may face.

Digital Health and Care Institute would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to complete the survey.  It is designed to take less than 20 minutes to complete and can be accessed here:


The closing date for completed surveys is Thursday 16th April 2020.  If you have any questions about this survey please contact Sanna Rimpilainen at


Confidentiality: You are answering this survey as a representative of your organisation. No personal details will be requested, all answers are completely anonymous and confidential. Responses will be aggregated to ensure that no one individual person or organisation is identifiable. The results of the national survey will be published as a report and they will be used to inform future education and training provision in Scotland. The results will also be publicly disseminated in other ways (talks, presentations, via social media etc.) by the DHI and the SDS.


This survey is covered by 3-year ethical approval granted to the DHI for consultation studies by the University of Strathclyde in June 2017.


Scottish Government's International Engagement Team content

Scottish Government's International Engagement Team

Do you work in the field of digital health and social care.

The Scottish Government's International Engagement Team (IET), which sits within the Digital Health and Care Directorate, is to represent Scotland in relevant international networks. The networks enable us to capture and share good practice in digital health and care locally, nationally and internationally.  These knowledge exchange opportunities and activities will be essential in maintaining and growing our ongoing relationships with European regions post-Brexit.

The IET are active members of EUREGHA, which is the network of European Regional and Local Health Authorities. EUREGHA promotes collaboration between its members, the institutions of the European Union and with pan European health networks and organisations working with public health and health care. Andrea Pavlickova, our International Engagement Manager, holds the position of Treasurer for EUREGHA.

As part of this membership the IET receives regular Info Flash updates covering a range of topics. Many of these topics are relevant to those in Scotland who are interested & involved in delivering digitally enabled services. Updates include news and information about events, consultations and funding calls.

From March 2020, it is our intention to share the Info Flash with our Scottish networks.

We also plan to share regular updates about international engagement activities and opportunities going forward.

If you have received this email via a colleague and you would like to be added to our distribution list, please email

To find out more about the team


Key Messages: Shaping Primary Care for the Next Generation in Rural Scotland content

Key Messages: Shaping Primary Care for the Next Generation in Rural Scotland


These Key Messages are a summary of an hour-long workshop delivered to 80 people on 19th February at The Gathering in Glasgow. The workshop was organised by VHS in collaboration with the Scottish Rural Health Partnership.

Rural Scotland is affected by some very specific challenges to the effective and sustainable delivery of Primary Care. These challenges include a growing elderly population, increasing demand for treatment and care, a dispersed population and issues associated with the supply of the health and social care workforce – all combining to have an impact on Primary Care services. The reform of Primary Care and the new GP Contract aim to mitigate some of these challenges and issues. However, the transformational change that is required in Primary Care cannot be achieved without the third sector playing an active role.

Our workshop aimed to explore the role of the third sector in helping shape the design and delivery of Primary Care and the importance of working in partnership to deliver change. Questions we set out to explore included:

  • How to put general practice and Primary Care at the heart of the healthcare system in rural Scotland
  • How to ensure people needing care are more informed and empowered, have access to the right person at the right time, and can remain living at home where possible.

We had four speakers and the workshop was chaired by Allyson McCollam, Chair of VHS. Speakers were:

  • Dan Shaw, Chief Executive at Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action
  • Dr Sarah Ann Munoz, Reader in Rural Health and Wellbeing – Division of Rural Health and Wellbeing, University of the Highlands and Islands
  • Martine Scott, Programme Manager – Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative (recruitment and retention of rural healthcare workers)
  • Ailsa Villegas, Senior Health Development Officer- Green Health, NHS Highland

Dan Shaw, Chief Executive, Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action

Dan provided an overview of how Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action (AVA) has developed effective local partnerships to achieve better outcomes for the voluntary sector they represent as well as the people of Aberdeenshire.

As a Third Sector Interface (TSI) AVA has a core remit from the Scottish Government and also develops local partnerships. When AVA began working with the local Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP), they provided small pots of money to the third sector and AVA to deliver a range of projects with very short term outcomes. This also meant that there were more TSI staff delivering HSCP projects than working on TSI core functions. One such project was Community Health in Partnership, which aimed to connect communities with third sector and statutory partners, and was delivered by individuals who would share local information. The short term focus of the project lead to a transient workforce which meant that local knowledge and information was lost and the core purpose of the project could not be achieved.

AVA have since been able to embed themselves within the HSCP and are working to secure three year funding cycles for third sector organisations and shift the focus of funded projects towards delivery of long term outcomes. AVA have also conducted a mapping exercise of third sector organisations in their constituency which means that they represent third sector organisations at the HSCP meetings, can use third sector to fill in gaps in the workforce and support innovative partnerships between the third sector and statutory sector, social enterprises and universities.

Dr Sarah Ann Munoz, Reader in Rural Health and Wellbeing – Division of Rural Health and Wellbeing, University of the Highlands and Islands

UHI Division of Rural Health and Wellbeing have been conducting research into Primary Care provision and perceptions for over 10 years.

Sarah Ann presented some emerging themes from her research. In rural areas without their own local Primary Care service people are generally satisfied with mobile GP practices or the ‘fly in, fly out’ services that are offered on a scheduled basis. Likewise, people are happy with the concept of multidisciplinary teams but are less satisfied with the idea of GP mergers where one practice is shut down altogether. People would prefer reduced hours over the complete loss of a local service. There is also a willingness to use digital technology such as video conferencing for GP appointments but there are concerns about the lack of availability of technology. People are also concerned about the lack of access to mental health services, especially for children and young people.

A key finding is that dissatisfaction stems from the engagement process rather than the nature of the service change. The ways in which communities are engaged in decision making helps determine how satisfied they are with the results.

The importance of social prescribing in reducing the strain on Primary Care was also discussed and while there is a lack of evaluation, people are self-reporting improvements in mental health, loneliness and isolation. Some reductions in primary care service use have been seen. However, there are issues such as a lack of transport to take people to the activity they have been prescribed. There is a need for link worker roles that not only signpost but help to build capacity to enable positive outcomes. Currently, resources rarely follows referrals and the cost savings incurred by the NHS are not passed on to the third sector or community services that face increased demands as referrals go up.

Martine Scott, Programme Manager – Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative (recruitment and retention of rural healthcare workers)

The Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative (SRMC) recognises the recruitment and retention challenges faced by Primary Care services in rural communities and is working in supp0ort of the Scottish Government goal of recruiting an extra 800 GPs. The Collaborative aims to do this by boosting the number of GPs in rural areas. The SRMC has representation in ten out of the fourteen Health Boards and has built a profile of GP service provision in rural areas. There are around 900 practices in Scotland with over 140 in rural areas, there are more female GPs serving rural areas, and the average age of retirement for rural GPs is around 50.

In order to tackle the issues of recruitment and retention of rural GPs the SRMC has piloted a project called ‘Rediscovering the Joy or General Practice’ which aims to recruit new GPs to work in rural areas for up to 18 weeks in a supported environment with training opportunities. This provides cover for existing GPs who would otherwise be at risk of burning out or leving. It helps ensure that new GPs are well trained and supported. They have already had 36 GPs sign up in the last 12 months and there are 42 notes of interest. The project will be fully rolled out early this year.

Ailsa Villegas, Senior Health Development Officer- Green Health, NHS Highland

The importance of greenspace for people’s health and wellbeing is well documented. However, less than half of adults in Scotland visit the outdoors on a regular or weekly basis and around 14% do not visit at all. Rural areas are very close to natural greenspace but it is very under-used and there is a lack of motivation to access it.

The Green Health GP referral scheme is one of four pilot partnerships funded in Scotland by Our Natural Health Service (ONHS) over a three year period. The Highland partnership is centred on Kyle of Lochalsh, with other partnerships in Dundee, Lanarkshire and North Ayrshire. The main objective of the partnerships is to connect people to nature for their improved health and wellbeing.

Kyle of Lochalsh has a population of around 640 people and is within the 15% most deprived areas in Highland. Before the pilot there were no green health activities underway and there was very poor availability and accessibility of greenspace. The pilot project has worked to assist community groups with large scale funding bids and they have gone from having no services to having health walks training, befriender gardening services, a local ranger service, mindfulness schemes, and e-bikes schemes. All of these are led and run by the voluntary sector. There was also work around supporting a culture change within the community to use greenspace through an information and awareness campaign, face to face discussion, and using local media as there is no link worker programme to support and encourage referrals.

This has also meant that the pilot had to develop relationships with Primary Care in order to drive referrals and signposting; this has not been without its challenges. There is buy-in from health practitioners in principle but in practice there have been concerns around liability and risk incurred due to signposting, and there were fears around the sustainability of these local projects, and issues around transport to get to the activities. To overcome this they have worked to develop community led activities and information campaigns with advice and support from medical practices in order to reach more people.


Discussion focussed around the importance of information resources to let people know about the services (including mental health services of which there is limited availability in local areas), support and activities taking place in rural areas. It was acknowledged that GPs have limited time and cannot always signpost people or know everything that is happening.

There was also discussion around the sustainability of volunteering in rural areas, where small and ageing populations restrict the supply of volunteers and lead to volunteer fatigue. The importance of community training and development to help support local communities to take on roles themselves and develop services and activities was noted. The role of corporate responsibility in enabling staff to become volunteers was also seen as a driver for increasing volunteering.

The issue of one or three year funding cycles and the detrimental impact short-term funding has on the sustainability of vital and innovative third sector and community organisations was also raised. Participants highlighted that HSCPs have five year work plans and strategies yet only fund third sector to work for one or three years.

Concluding Remarks

The Chair Allyson McCollam concluded the event commenting on how the challenges faced by people living in rural Scotland coupled with changes in demographics mean that a collaborative and holistic approach to people’s health and wellbeing is required. She highlighted the essential role that third sector play in supporting the work of the statutory sector, for the effective delivery of Primary Care.

For information contact:

Kiren Zubairi

Mansfield Traquair Centre

15 Mansfield Place Edinburgh EH3 6BB

0131 474 6189

  1. Voluntary Health Scotland @VHSComms

Registered Scottish Charity SCO35482

A company limited by guarantee SC267315

Copy of the Presentations are available Rural Primary Care.

VentureFest 2020 content

VentureFest 2020

Could your event be part of VentureFest - Scotland’sFestival of Innovation?

VentureFest – Scotland’s annual festival of discovery and innovation aims to inspire and support the innovation journey, helping to create more visionary, global businesses that embrace the possibilities of tomorrow.

Connecting Scotland’s SMEs to game-changing innovators, academics, entrepreneurs and investors to help them grow through innovation; the festival comprises a series of events throughout the year with confirmed headliners, include Startup Summit (October 2020) at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh and the CAN DO Innovation Summit (February 2021) at Glasgow Science Centre.

More information in the VentureFest Flyer.

VentureFest Website

£10M Investment for digital health innovation content

£10M Investment for digital health innovation

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC), together with the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorate, is to invest up to £10 million in Scotland’s Digital Health and Care Institute.

Launched in 2013, the Digital Health and Care Institute is an industry-led innovation centre, and a collaboration between the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde (its host institution). It employs experts in service development, technology and product design to work alongside universities, colleges, manufacturers as well as the NHS, charities and other health and social care organisations.

Focusing on new ways to manage illness and provide care, DHI has amassed over 60 project partners and a portfolio of over 120 projects, in the last five years. These include a project with the University of Abertay, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Macmillan which uses artificial intelligence to predict the service needs of people living with cancer. As recently as July the Institute announced a service innovation, using camera pill technology and a managed service, to aid clinicians working in gastroenterology services.

The Digital Health and Care Institute’s newest commercial collaboration is with IBM. Together they are looking at how technology can be used to help people make better health and lifestyle choices. The project also includes ways to support health and care providers plan and deliver better services.

Further and Higher Education Minister Richard Lochhead said:

“Our culture of innovation in health and care is rightly recognised on the world stage. This funding of up to £10 million will help further the vital work of the Digital Health and Care Institute to harness data and technology, with benefits for people all over the world.

“By creating and fostering links between academia, public services and industry we can drive progress towards Scotland’s national aims as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Karen Watt, Chief Executive of the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“The Digital Health and Care Institute is unique in its ability to bring together world-leading industry and academic expertise and direct their efforts towards real-world challenges in caring for people’s health and wellbeing. It has an outstanding record of finding the right partners, supporting collaboration and being genuinely innovative.

“I am delighted we are able to continue our investment and am confident of the positive impact this will have on people and communities.”

DHI’s Chief Executive, Professor George Crooks OBE, said:

“I welcome the decision by the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Government to continue to invest in the DHI. Scotland is recognised as being an international leader in digital health and care innovation which not only benefits the people of Scotland by securing new and improved health and care services that are fit for the future but benefits the economy of Scotland by creating opportunities for Scottish businesses and generates inward investment into our country.

“The team at DHI have amassed a significant amount of knowledge and expertise in this field which we will continue to make available to all involved in the health and care sector. By bringing together academia, industry, health and care providers, service users and their families to innovate together, we can secure a better future for us all”

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.

The full report is available hBeing Here evalutaion - Final Report.

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.

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.

Personalising Realistic Medicine content

Personalising Realistic Medicine

Chief Medical Office Dr Catherine Calderwood, published on the 27th April 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

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.


Discover Digital 2018 Report content

Discover Digital 2018 Report

The report sets out the aims of 'Discover Digital', a week of events to explore technology for health and wellbeing and presents the learning that was gathered from the events.

'Discover Digital' served two overarching purposes:

  • to engage the public in activities related to digital aspects of health and social care and
  • to surface, through the ensuring conversation, what p[people through were on this subject.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded Discover Digital Report 2018.

Discover Digital will return in 2019, the second edition will be themed around self-management and care and will launch on the 11th October 2019.

Health & Sport Committee - Primary Care Inquiry content

Health & Sport Committee - Primary Care Inquiry

Have your say on the future of front-line NHS care

The Health and Sport Committee is undertaking a major new inquiry into the future of primary care in Scotland.

Primary care is often our first point of contact with the NHS, whether that’s GPs in the local surgery, community nurses or midwives, physiotherapists or occupational therapists, dentists, opticians or pharmacists.

In recent years there has been increased pressure on primary care. Driven by patients’ changing needs, technological advancements, as well as cost and staffing pressures, there is now a need to consider the way primary care is organised and delivered. There is also a determination that people spend less time in hospital, and that more tailored care is delivered in the community by the most appropriate professionals.

Our inquiry calls on people to outline their hopes for the next generation of primary care, using a specially designed survey which can be accessed below. The survey is looking for views on issues such as the key challenges to accessing services, whether the current system is sustainable and how well people understand why the Government thinks changes are needed in primary care.

The Committee wants to add to a nationwide debate that has already started, into what that care should look like and how it should be accessed and delivered. Regardless of whether people have used these services or not, we want your views.

We want to hear from people of all ages and backgrounds, and we are particularly keen to hear from young people, people with complex care needs, and people living in remote and rural areas of Scotland.

The views collected will help shape the next phase of the inquiry, alongside some focused work with groups of individuals who will be selected to be as representative of the population as far as is possible. During the second phase the views and insights gathered from the survey and public panels will shape what the Committee will ask those responsible for designing and delivering services how they can deliver care in the way people want it.

Anybody unable to complete the survey online can call and Parliament staff will ask you the survey questions and fill it in for you. You can call Public Information on 0800 092 7500 or 0131 348 5000. (The service is available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday). Calls are also welcome through the Text Relay service and in British Sign Language.

The deadline for completion is 30 April 2019 and I encourage everybody to give us their views.

Lewis Macdonald MSP, Convener, Health & Sport Committee

The Survey can be completed online on the Survey webpage.

Culture, Health and Wellbeing in Rural Scotland content

Culture, Health and Wellbeing in Rural Scotland

On 26 March 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


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.”

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

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.

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.
A Connected Scotland content

A Connected Scotland

Today the Scottish Government released the first national strategy to tackle social isolation and build stronger social connections.

A copy is available here : A Connected Scotland

Is the Scottish Government's national strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness and is a step toward their vision for a Scotland where everyone has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships, regardless of age, status, circumstance, or identity.

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

Homes that help: a personal and professional perspective on home adaptations content

Homes that help: a personal and professional perspective on home adaptations

This report summarises the finding of a primary research project exploring the lived experiences of individuals who use home adaptations, and practitioners who work alongside them. It shows that people are delaying making vital changes to homes because of the clinical and stigmatising appearance of products like handrails and ramps.

Digital solution could help thousands of Scots with high blood pressure content

Digital solution could help thousands of Scots with high blood pressure

Nearly 30% of adults in Scotland have high blood pressure – also known as hypertension – and many of them are not receiving treatment because they don’t know they have it.

High blood pressure means the blood pressure is consistently higher than the recommended level. It often has no symptoms and people with the condition may feel perfectly well. However, if it’s left untreated, high blood pressure increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and can lead to the development of heart failure, dementia and kidney failure.

That’s why new approaches are being tried to enable patients to better monitor and manage their blood pressure at home – giving them more control over their condition using a system that’s simple and convenient to use, and reducing the current demand for GP time spent on blood pressure monitoring.

The care model involves the person checking their blood pressure at home for an agreed period of time and simply texting the readings to the digital health system. If they are outwith the pre-agreed parameters, they will be advised what action to take. Clinicians can also view real-time information about patients at any time.

Developing a community driven health and social care system on the Orkney Islands content

Developing a community driven health and social care system on the Orkney Islands

Home to around 21,000 people and spread over 70 isles, the Orkney Islands are unique in Scotland’s health and social care system. These are mostly rural communities, diverse in size and setting, with fewer than 20 residents on some of the smaller islands.

With this uniqueness comes the ‘square peg, round hole’ way of working the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) sometimes struggles with in trying to deliver on national NHS Scotland priorities.

The question for the Orkney Islands HSCP was how to develop a more singular, flexible and community driven approach that matches their health and social care resources with community needs and priorities?

Read about the process on the Healthcare Improvement Scotland ihub website.

Workforce recruitment and retention are key issues which challenge the delivery of remote and rural healthcare services. content

Workforce recruitment and retention are key issues which challenge the delivery of remote and rural healthcare services.

At the SRHP we’re bring together information on the various rural recruitment and retention projects and initiatives that are underway or have recently been completed across Scotland.

Examples of good practice, and links to tool kits, resources and evaluation reports are now accessible through the university website.

We’ll be adding information on dentistry, nursing, midwifery, and other allied health professionals over the coming weeks.

Please contact us if you have a project or information that you’d like us to add.

Karen O’Hanlon

Business Development Manager


If you have any news, activities or events you would like us to publish then please forward to



Royal College of Physical of Edinburgh Remote and Rural Conference 2019 content

Royal College of Physical of Edinburgh Remote and Rural Conference 2019

In November 2019 SRHP hosted the Royal College of Physical of Edinburgh Remote and Rural Conference at the Centre for Health Science. The presentation from the confirmation are available on the college portal and also on their YouTube Channel.

The next conference shall be on 21-22 May in Orkney, more details available on the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh website.

RCPEd Orkney 2020 Poster