There are significant challenges associated with health care across remote and rural Scotland where population groups are often small but clinical services are as essential to the community as they would be anywhere else.
The Service has been looking at new models of care for such areas that incorporate the community’s needs and provide an appropriate level of clinical care and governance.
One solution has been the creation of Scotland’s first ever “retained” ambulance in Shetland, where people work alongside the existing team of paramedics and technicians. Shetland has traditionally been resourced with one ambulance based in Lerwick. In recent times, ambulance demand has risen.
The retained staff were given driver training, along with First Person on Scene training, which includes CPR and first aid. They will go through a programme of modular sessions and assessment to eventually achieve Technician grade. These retained staff are paid a basic retainer and receive additional payments for shifts covered. They offer a valuable boost to local resources and are an effective support for community resilience.