News just out – OfCom have begun a consultation to develop plans for a new “111” number to be used where non-emergency health advice is required, in England. The main aim seems to reduce pressure from 999 calls, and consequently reduce the number of inappropriate A&E attendances.
This month, the BMA have published an interesting report, highlighting some key innovative projects led by seventeen consultants around Scotland.
The report includes examples of innovations in rural & remote practice, particularly in terms of improving access to services by patients.
Of particular relevance to R&R practice are:
Dr Andrew Inglis – setting up the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service in the West of Scotland.
Dr Peter Terry – outreach O&G Services to the Orkney Islands.
Prof Andrew Sim – R&R surgical services – plus training for trainees who wish to focus specifically on rurally-important skills.
The Rural Forum are pleased to confirm that the Clinical Skills Unit will be in attendance at the RCGP Annual Conference, in Glasgow on November 5th-7th. The unit comes in the form of an articulated lorry, containing a clinical environment where resuscitation and surgical procedures can be practised.
It carries an impressive range of simulation models, which can be controlled by a team concealed within a separate room, allowing adult and paediatric resuscitation scenarios to be played with maximum realism. Models are available for CV and arterial line insertion. Procedures such as cannulation, chest drain insertion and intubation are possible too.
The Unit, funded by NES (NHS Education Scotland) has already embarked on a tour of Scotland, with further dates and venues planned for the next few months, details of which are available from the website. The Unit is a 2-year pilot project funded by NES – if you want to take a look, and think about booking a visit for your area, watch out for it at the conference.
There’s always been a link to the Centre for Rural Health from this blog, but they’ve recently made some great improvements to their site.
The Centre is based in Aberdeen University, where there seems to be a lot of rural research going on – for health as well as other topics too. Aberdeen is now home to one of 3 UK Rural Digital Economy Hubs. In April, the University was awarded £12.4 million to investigate how digital strategies can help enhance rural communities, including the potential benefits for healthcare.
You can see a full list of the Centre’s current research projects on their website.
All the presentations from February’s SCT conference are now available from here. [Dec13 – sorry, link no longer active, presentations no longer appear to be available]
Topics include establishing where Scotland is at now with its telehealth strategy, managing long term conditions at home with telemedicine, clinical photography, dementia & telehealth, and involving communities in service redesign.
I’ve also added a new RSS bar on the left – this now links directly with the current contents of the European issue of R&RH.
Here’s an interesting insight into the work of some of our more remote colleagues. Granted, this isn’t recent news, but I thought it might tempt readers who’ve not seen this before.
Rosie Donovan is a Scottish photographer who carried out a photo-documentary of the lives of several remote & rural GPs in Scotland. The exhibition that resulted is apparently on permanent display at RCGP in Edinburgh, and is also available in a book – you can order yours on her website.
However, much of the content is available to peruse on the site too – note that you can click the portrait photos to find out more about each story.
Sometime soon, I hope that some practitioners’ profiles can feature on this blog. For the time being, I’m sure Rosie’s commentaries will provide an insightful read.
Clip from Lesley Riddoch‘s BBC Scotland show on 18 January 2008. James Ferguson is Consultant in A&E Medicine in Aberdeen, with an interest in telemedicine – he’s part of the team at the Scottish Centre for Telehealth. He covers topics related to remote medicine, including hospital closures and using technology to reduce the problem of distance. Recommended listening!
Lesley Riddoch, an excellent broadcaster on Radio Scotland, interviewed some top names in Telehealth in 2007. Although it was recorded 2 years ago, the standard of broadcast is high and the programme is more about what telemedicine could eventually achieve.
Those interviewed are: Dr Leonard Witkamp a dermatologist and Director of the Telemedicine Centre in Holland; Dr Richard Scott of the e-Health Research Programme at the University of Calgary and Prof James Dunbar of Dept of Rural Health at Flinders Univ in Australia.
SCT have recently held their annual conference, and I’m hoping to obtain some of their presentations for the blog here. Watch this space! There’s some excellent updates on their current projects, backed by quite a team.