Tag Archives | children

Telemedicine for Neurology and Child Psychiatry

There is no doubt that telemedicine has the potential to offer some advantages in improving access of rural patients to hospital specialists.  The Scottish Centre for Telehealth has been doing a lot of work in this field, and its growing website is an indication of the growing use expected in the future.

The latest cutbacks might accelerate plans to implement videoconference consultations – albeit as a way of reducing the actual clinics provided in remote and rural areas.

However it seems that the suitability of telemedicine consultations can be specialty-specific, and some would argue that larger benefits are to be gained in review appointments compared with first-appointments.  In addition, there is a balance between telemedicine allowing greater access to mainland specialists to rural communities, versus its use to pull physical services away.

These two articles from the Scottish Medical Journal caught my attention recently – providing a review of telemedicine in two particular areas…

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Time to Care: RCGP reports on Rural Deprivation

RCGP Scotland has just released its report Time to Care – which aims to be a pragmatic contribution to the efforts in improving healthcare to Scotland’s most deprived areas, including rural areas.

The following explanation, taken from the Foreword, outlines why the report is not to be seen as “yet another” document outlining the already-knowns in health & deprivation…

“At the outset, the working group made three decisions. First, given the plethora of reports on inequalities in health, collating research evidence, there was no need to produce another report of this type. Second, the report would not comprise a “toolkit” for general practitioners, implying that others know the answers and general practitioners simply need to implement the solutions.

Third, the working group would engage with general practitioners working in the most deprived areas, capture their experience and views, and communicate these findings to others.  This would focus on the 100 practices serving the most deprived communities in Scotland (which we named the ‘Top 100’ practices) but would also include general practitioners working in remote and rural areas out-with the Top 100 as there are many people living in pockets of severe deprivation which are not large enough to register within analyses of deprivation based on datazones. We also commissioned a short review of the literature on the challenges faced by these communities (Chapter 4).”

The report is available from the RCGP Scotland website.

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Being a young carer in rural England

“In the UK there are 175,000 children under the age of 18 who are informal (unpaid) family carers. There are also 230,000 young adult carers aged 18-24, Rural young carers face particular barriers in accessing and receiving services and support, compounded by distance, lack of adequate public transport, isolation, stigma and lack of privacy”.

This report from the Commission for Rural Communities highlights the challenges and barriers for young carers, that are particular to living in a rural area.

RuralGP was alerted to this item via the Institute of Rural Health Newsflash, a regular compilation of rural health items which is sent to IRH Associates.
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