Scotland: new centre launched to reduce health inequalities in rural communities – Community Practitioner

The introduction of the new National Centre for Remote and Rural Health and Care aims to improve the delivery of healthcare services in rural communities and to reduce health inequalities.

It will improve the capability of remote, rural and island primary care while enhancing the delivery of community-based services, the Scottish Government said.

Both local and virtual NHS boards will work in partnership with the centre with the intent to improve the rural workforce and find innovative ways to upskill staff. The aim is to ensure people receive care as close to home as possible.

The centre is being supported by £3 million in funding over the course of 2023 to 2026. Work will be led by NHS Education for Scotland, with the initial focus being on the provision of primary care.

‘Rural and island communities have their own unique challenges when it comes to providing high quality healthcare,’ said health secretary Michael Matheson. ‘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.’

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