Urban and Rural Issues for the Health Sector in Scotland

Miller L, Robinson D, Butler M, Chubb C, Oakley J |   | Skills for Health | Oct 2011

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Scotland’s health sector is dealing with the challenges of serving an ageing, rural and remote population. Some communities in Scotland are experiencing a more acute ‘demographic time bomb’ than is seen elsewhere in the UK.

The challenge of meeting the health needs of these communities is further compounded by the smaller number of people of working age in these areas as well as a range of ICT and travel infrastructure issues.

Skills for Health therefore commissioned this research to examine the ways in which the Scottish Territorial Health Boards have addressed these challenges and to use these lessons to inform health delivery policy and skills development in Scotland and across the UK more widely.

It consisted of an analysis of literature and data relating to the delivery of health care in rural and urban settings; interviews with representatives from the 14 territorial Health Boards and NHS Education for Scotland (NES); and two case studies of innovative practice.