The Scottish working group
Scottish Group statement
The Scottish Making It Work Group are a group of remote and rural healthcare researchers, practitioners, managers and directors from across a range of remote, rural, island and special Health Boards. Many members of the Scottish MiW group have been working to address the challenges of remote and rural recruitment and retention for a number of years and bring a broad range of strategic and practical expertise and experience to this current programme of work.
The Scottish MiW Group are inspired to work collaboratively with each other and international partners to make a difference to the lives of remote and rural people and are committed to improving the quality of remote, rural and island healthcare services
Scottish Team Members Biography
Programme Director of the Remote and Rural Healthcare Educational Alliance (RRHEAL)
NHS Education for Scotland
Pam Nicoll has worked with NHS Education for Scotland as Programme Director of the Remote and Rural Healthcare Educational Alliance (RRHEAL) since it was initiated by the Scottish Government in 2008. RRHEAL has responsibility for coordinating remote and rural healthcare education development across Scotland.
RRHEAL are committed to the development of affordable and accessible education that makes best use of digital technology for the remote, rural and island workforce to help sustain and improve healthcare services. Pam had a lead role in the development of the Scottish Rural Health Partnership a structured alliance of educational and research organisations and is committed to working collaboratively with partners across Scotland and internationally.
Pam believes that is important to highlight how dynamic working in remote and rural healthcare can be and to spread the word on the wealth of educational and career opportunities on offer.
Pam is passionate about good quality healthcare and has worked in NHS in Scotland and England for twenty-seven years in clinical, educational and senior management roles.
Pam is inspired to ensure rural team skills are recognised and staff are well supported with access to high quality education and training so that people in remote and rural communities are provided with good quality health and social care.
Pam graduated from the University of Glasgow and has undertaken postgraduate research and study with University of Strathclyde and University of Highland and Islands. Pam’s current PhD research work is focussed on evaluating technology enhanced learning for remote and rural healthcare staff.
Dr. David Heaney
David understands the issues faced in the delivery of effective remote and rural services.
David has worked in an academic setting, and is now working in a business setting, to improve the organisation and delivery of healthcare services.
David is inspired by trying to make a difference to the lives of remote and rural people.
David is an experienced researcher, and a principal investigator, with leadership skills in international collaborative projects, and a track record of securing significant grant funding, with a network of key contacts across northern Europe. David studied economics at University of Edinburgh and completed his PhD – “Organisational change and remote and rural health care delivery: identifying the attributes of successful innovation” at University of Aberdeen.
Researcher, Development and Innovation Division, NHS Highland
Anne Mason believes that a key feature to supporting rural and remote health staff is ensuring easy access to virtual professional networking and a wide range of CPD opportunities; and a clear communication line to specialist help.
Anne has experience in strengthening health care delivery systems in difficult and inaccessible terrains. Over the past ten years, Anne has been the Health Link Partnership (HLP) Lead between NHS Highland, and the MOH in remote and rural areas of Ghana and Zambia where health care delivery is extremely challenging.
Key successes within this HLP include the quality of the partnership and the team approach to deliver CPD and community volunteer programs aimed to improve access to safer mental health care in remote and rural areas. Engagement of African rural communities proved highly successful using drama and other art forms to cut across cultural-linguistic and educational (illiterate) barriers.
Anne is inspired to create inclusive processes where rural and remote staff and communities feel empowered to engage and direct recruitment and retention processes to improve access to quality rural healthcare.
Anne is a qualified mental health and general trained nurse; nurse teacher and researcher with a Masters in Higher Education.
Research Facilitator, NHS Highland
Anna McIver works in the NHS Highland Research Development & Innovation Division to provide management and governance for all research studies and projects being undertaken in NHS Highland by staff or patients, and more recently, has become involved in supporting delivery of international externally funded projects, including the RR:Making It Work.
NHS Highland covers the largest and most sparsely populated of the Scottish Health Board areas; RD&I recognises this challenging statistic can actually provide us with the opportunity to be pivotal in engagement and delivery of high quality research specific to remote and rural healthcare services.
Through previous Project Management roles, Anna has gained valuable insight into the specific challenges faced in delivering an international collaborative project, and in implementing the proposed service changes in remote and rural areas.
Having grown-up in a rural village in Sutherland, Scotland, Anna is inspired to develop and promote provision of quality remote and rural healthcare, as she recognises this as fundamental to viability and sustainability for such communities.
An experienced NHS Highland employee, Anna offers diverse range of skills and experiences to enable quality approach and delivery of research projects.
Anna studied Bsc(Hons) Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology) at University of Aberdeen before completing a MRes with Institute of Biological and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Following work as Research Scientist at The Rowett Institute in Aberdeen, her career changed course from bench-top researcher to research facilitator with the NHS Highland RD&I Division.
MBE, Director of Transformation and Quality Improvement for NHS Highland and Executive Lead for NHS Highland on Remote and Rural issues
Gill McVicar has recently been appointed as Director of Transformation and Quality Improvement for NHS Highland. Her previous role was as Director of Operations for North and West Highland which covered remote and rural areas and some of the most sparsely populated geographically challenging parts of the country.
Gill has a particular focus on whole systems approaches, continuous quality improvement, transformational change and organisational development. She has a very keen interest in sustaining health and care services in remote and rural areas and in community resilience, capacity building and enterprise.
Gill is Executive Lead for NHS Highland on Remote and Rural issues and recently led the Scottish Government sponsored programme on building sustainability in remote and rural communities called ‘Being Here’
Gill is inspired to work with like minded people and communities themselves to continue building sustainability to protect fragile communities and to find innovative ways of delivering and supporting remote and rural health and care. She feels especially privileged to have worked with the communities on the Small Isles to develop a radical new model of care
Gill has a clinical and quality background trained as a nurse and midwife and has a degree in Community Health with a Post Grad certificate in Health Economics. She is also a Certified Lean Leader and trainee Coach.
Gill has studied at Robert Gordon and Aberdeen Universities and with the Virginia Mason Institute.
Project Researcher, NHS Highland
Claire Savage works with NHS Highland in Scotland as a project researcher on the “Making it Work” program. She brings experience of developing and implementing new health and social care practice roles within remote and rural areas of North West Scotland.
Claire was born and raised in a remote farming community in Northern Ireland. She has now lived in a similar community in Scotland for 15 years, is married to a Remote & Rural GP, has encountered many of the remote and rural recruitment and retention issues personally, and understands how rural communities work.
Claire worked on the successful Scottish Government funded “Being Here “programme, devising and testing innovative ways to recruit and retain health and social care staff, and creating sustainable primary care services in remote Scottish west coast islands. She worked as the Clinical Lead developing and implementing a new Remote and Rural Advanced Nurse/Paramedic Practitioner role. This is an “Advanced Generalist” role for experienced nurses/paramedics, further educated and trained to provide Out of Hours care, across Remote & Rural communities, in General Practice and Community Hospital settings.
Claire is inspired by improving practice. She believes relationships are the foundation of effective services, and that resilience building and collaboration with communities on asset use, are essential for sustainment of those communities.
Claire originally trained as a Registered General Nurse and specialised in Intensive Care in England and Australia. Following further study, Claire moved to Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer. During this time Claire developed her interest in Remote & Rural health and social care issues, which has been utilised since her move to NHS Highland in 2005 in the above roles.