Scotland launches National Centre for rural healthcare

A new National Centre has been launched in Scotland with the aim of reducing health inequalities and improving the delivery of healthcare services in rural communities.

The National Centre for Remote and Rural Health and Care, is expected to launch next month, and will seek to improve the capability of remote, rural and island Primary Care and enhance the delivery of community-based services.

The Centre will work with NHS Boards virtually and locally to improve rural workforce and retention and develop new and innovative services to deliver better results for patients. It will also investigate innovative ways to upskill staff to help ensure people receive care as close to home as possible.

The Centre will receive funding of £3 million from 2023-26.

The plans are part of the Scottish Government's Programme for Government.

Health secretary Michael Matheson said: “Rural and island communities have their own unique challenges when it comes to providing high quality healthcare. It is therefore essential that we do everything we can to make sure that these challenges are properly considered and addressed. Establishing this Centre is a significant undertaking and will help us ensure that people living in rural communities can receive the care they need close to home.

“I expect the centre to start by identifying approaches to improve rural primary care staff recruitment and develop the skills of remote and rural staff. We hope these measures will increase capacity to deliver care close to home for patients and ensure healthcare inequalities some rural communities currently face are significantly reduced.”

Image by 2396584 from Pixabay