Rural general practice

25 August 2014

RCGP Scotland Rural Strategy Group issued their policy paper Being Rural in an exclusive interview with Daniel Sanderson of the Herald on the challenges facing remote and rural general practice. 

The paper cites the issues of poor connectivity (mobile and broadband), problems with recruitment and retention, increasing workload and fragility of support services as some of the main threats to patient care. In particular, the College in Scotland is calling for the eradication of the current inequalities in access to good primary healthcare provision by addressing these areas, and is keen to work with Scottish Government, health boards, partners and stakeholders to prevent a deepening crisis. 

Dr Miles Mack, Chair Elect of RCGP Scotland and one of the author’s of the report, told the Herald newspaper,

“Smartphone capabilities fail in a great deal of rural areas, as there’s no data service at all. Then there’s mobile connectivity – how do you call an ambulance if your phone doesn’t work?”

He also expressed grave concern about the difficulties in recruiting GPs to rural areas telling the newspaper that some health boards have to rely on expensive locums, who may not have the appropriate skills to run GP services, as they cannot attract permanent staff to rural locations.

Contact RCGP Scotland for more information

Policy and Committees Officer
RCGP Scotland
Tel: 020 3188 7740

Read articles in the Herald Scotland:



We recognise that GPs working in rural areas face particular challenges. RCGP’s Rural Forum plays and important part in highlighting these issues to healthcare policy makers.

Rural perspectives on practice boundaries, federations and pharmaceutical services


Through our Rural Forum, we’ve provided the rural perspective on a range of issues facing general practice.

Get involved with the Rural Forum

Our Rural Forum is a network of GPs that shares ideas and experiences and helps to shape RCGP policy on issues affecting general practice in rural areas.

We welcome involvement from all RCGP members with an interest in rural practice. Just login to your account and update your details, checking the ‘Rural Forum’ option.

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