Dr Jim Douglas, GP Fort William and chair of the 2012 Dewar Group, has produced the following documents (with colleagues) to help define current challenges in rural practice, and suggest ways of addressing them.
A proposal for ‘National Park Status for Remote Health and Social Care in Scotland‘ outlines why viewing sustainable rural health care as a fragile ecosystem, can help to define the interdependencies that can exist in rural communities – and how shared values and objectives might be achieved more easily by viewing rural healthcare in this way.
An appendix to this document has also been produced, called ‘Wildlife Species in Scotland and Remote Care Policy – What can we debate?‘ – and offers fresh, slightly humorous but relevant comparisons between aspects of rural healthcare and threatened species.
A third document entitled ‘Bench Testing and Risk Management of Remote Practice Models‘ offers advice on how new models of healthcare might be tested prior to implementation. A number of clinical scenarios are suggested, which can then be played in different scenarios – taking into account weather, transport, and local resource.