Recommendation 7 – Workforce capacity and capability
The capacity of the Rural Support Team and the numbers of Rural Practitioners should be reviewed and fully staffed, accounting for new models of joint working with SAS paramedics and NHS 24, to support 24/7 urgent care, as described above
Going forward, ongoing clinical leadership and engagement will be essential for the development and delivery of future service provision, including a sustainable OOH service. We are encouraged that clinical colleagues. recognise this imperative and NHS Highland must facilitate and support that.
As indicated for SAS, we suggest that shift working should supplant on-call working for members of the Rural Support Team.
While this External view was asked to focus on OOH services, we recommend that a comprehensive 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Workforce Plan should be developed, including inter-agency working and contractual arrangements which promote recruitment and retention of staff - with sufficient capacity and capability.