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Author: Age Scotland
Published on 19 August 2015 12:00 PM

The Royal College of Nursing Scotland (RCN Scotland) recently released their report on improving access to community healthcare for older people in rural Scotland, called ‘Going the extra mile’.

Older people’s views were naturally a key part of this project. Age Scotland worked with RCN Scotland to help to identify local community groups in remote and rural areas to help to distribute a survey to older people to gather their input.

Age Scotland’s Chief Exec Brian Sloan introduces the report below:

“Age Scotland was pleased to collaborate with the Royal College of Nursing Scotland on this excellent report.

It is important to move past the basic demographic observation that Scotland has an ageing population and to seek to look at more nuanced ways of studying the issue, in this particular case, geographically.  That rural areas have a higher proportion of over 65s is an important factor for consideration of how health and care services will be delivered over the coming years.  With the integration of health and social care now being implemented to deliver on the Scottish Government’s aim to shift care away from acute settings, this report has a number of recommendations that are important to note. 

Firstly, the shifting of resources to the community is one that, as the report notes, is not happening at the pace and scale required.  Along with a later recommendation of supporting older people to live independent and active lives, Age Scotland wholeheartedly endorses these ideas.  The associated economic benefit of keeping older people out of acute care settings cannot be overstated.  We know that to have your independence really can be a key factor in leading a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Secondly, whether through using local facilities with adapted and efficient technology or find better ways to recruit and retain highly-skilled staff, Age Scotland welcomes the conversation this report engages in.  We hope to add further to it with our work to combat loneliness and isolation, working in partnership with organisations like the Royal College of Nursing to ensure that Scotland is the best place to grow old and love your later life.”

You can read the full report here

For more information: Call the Age Scotland helpline: 0800 12 44 222