There is currently a substantial challenge in terms of recruitment of permanent and training staff in rural, remote and geographically isolated areas. This can also include areas that are isolated in terms of infrastructure or connections.
HEE is working with key stakeholders and organisations to support both trainees and smaller training systems, such as advocating the consideration of remote and rural settings within education and training. This also includes ensuring there are basic ‘hygiene factors’ in place.
Developing training rotations and programmes in these areas can support an enhanced understanding of the different elements within healthcare systems and clinical networks across the country and can give a more comprehensive view of health economies and help support trainees develop a host of additional skills. These would include exposure to community, primary care and remote settings, as well as more specialist services.
As this work develops, key information and resources relating to this work can be found here.
In the NHS, training occurs in nearly all our hospitals, and this is part of the NHS service model. As the shortage of doctors is increasingly recognised, so has the pull from remote, rural and smaller places to large urban centres. We discuss whether this is inevitable and what else could be done to ensure equitable access to healthcare for all, by making better use of the excellent clinical training the UK has in place in smaller as well as larger centres. Namita Kumar & Adrian Brooke
Related documents and reports
Hygiene Factors checklist: This document summarises the key principles of hygiene factors fundamental to postgraduate medical trainees working in the NHS. The resource has been developed for reference of NHS employing trusts to outline the key provisions that should be put in place in order to attract, recruit and retain the postgraduate medical workforce.
Training in Smaller Places report: In 2016, Health Education England commissioned a task and finish group on training in smaller places. This report can be accessed in full here.
Remote and Rural Post CCT Fellowships paper: A copy of the report can be accessed in full here.