Geography dictating level of care
It is a fine balance to strike – the ability to access care versus the capacity to deliver that care. It is a juggling act the NHS has been held accountable for time and time again.
In the Highland and Islands this issue is only magnified as the health service looks to serve a wider expanse.
However, geography shouldn’t dictate a level of care.
Unfortunately, it seems for some that this is the case as they battle a postcode lottery of how and when they can access health services.
New analysis from NHS Highland has revealed 10,000 outpatient visits were made to raigmore Hospital in the past year by people living more than 100 miles away. Taking into account the homeward journey, that equates to about 100 circumferences of Earth.
But more importantly that also equates to extended time off work, extra logistics planning and added financial pressure, contributing to a less than satisfactory experience.
NHS Highland has admitted as much and vowed to start “focussed work” on tackling the problem.
The focused work must result in deliverable improvements.
Because the 10,000 figure accounts for those who can overcome the hurdles to access health care.
What it doesn’t tally are those who unfortunately are not as able.
“10,000 outpatient visits were made to Raigmore Hospital in the past year”