Holistic primary care in the Hebrides
The islands of Benbecula, North Uist and South Uist are connected by causeway, home to around 5,000 people. The Atlantic stretches out to the west, with miles of white sandy beaches. On the east side, ancient mountains protect remote glens. Wildlife, archaeology, traditional lifestyles and arts, outdoor adventure and community life all make this a stimulating place to live.
There are three practices on the three main islands; Benbecula Medical Practice is a dispensing practice based on the central island. In addition to providing primary care services, we also provide medical cover to St. Kilda, the rocket range, and the airport.
We cover the 16 bedded community hospital as well as providing some of the out-of-hours. The hospital hosts visits from consultants, and has good support from larger hospitals elsewhere. Patients requiring specialist input are airlifted off the islands. This provides a wide range of educational opportunities, and has enabled previous students to reflect on their clinical strengths and enthusiasms away from pressure to conform with university careers pathways.
Each year, we aim to take one medical school applicant, one or two FY2 placements/GP trainee rural taster weeks. We are also a placement for the Rural fellowship, and can take students for part of their elective block, shared with a neighbouring practice. More detailed information is available about the GP Rural Fellowship from the NES rural fellowship page.
We will only consider applicants for placements who provide us with a letter setting out some clear learning objectives relating to our practice setting and workload. The letter can be attached to an email, and should include the name of at least one referee from their medical school.
The High Island
The Orcades Practice, formed in 2015, is a virtual group practice covering six of the outer islands of Orkney. The Hoy Branch covers the most southerly islands – Hoy & Walls. That’s a practice of 420 residents and thousands of summer visitors who come for the walking, the bird-watching, the WWI & WWII archaeology, the sunshine and the peace and quiet.
We have a purpose-built health centre and a small team providing 24/7 primary, community and emergency care. Our nearest hospital is 90+ minutes distant depending on the ferries and the weather. We are sometimes busy and sometimes quiet but always have time for discussion, reading and thinking. We share learning and experiences with our colleagues on the other islands via video-conferencing.
Web link: www.hoydoc.co.uk
A great place to learn
Arran is a unique place to work and live. It is the seventh largest island in Scotland, home to mountains and 57 miles of coast, and covers an area larger than Greater Glasgow. Our population of around 5,000 quickly increases to a peak of over 20,000 during the spring and summer months, which keeps things rather busy.
Primary health care is delivered by Arran Medical Group, from three surgeries and four branch surgeries, by a team of more than 40 clinicians and administrative staff.Hospital care is provided at Arran War Memorial Hospital, which the GPs are also involved with. There are visiting consultants for some clinics, and we enjoy good links with our colleagues at Crosshouse and Ayr Hospitals for advice and transfer of particularly unwell patients. There are close links between all multidisciplinary teams, from mental health to social work and education.Working on Arran demands generalist skills. As a GP, you could quite literally be seeing a patient with diabetes one minute, and attending a road accident or applying a plaster cast the next. The island is rich in learning opportunities, and we’re keen to make this available for those who are studying or training – both in nursing and medicine.
Most of our students come from planned placements but each year we are able to take on a handful of elective students. More detailed information is available about the GP Rural Fellowship from the NES Rural Fellowship page.
Photo (c) David Hogg
GP Rural Fellowship, GP Trainee Taster Weeks, GP Training, Student Elective, Student Placements
Student Elective, Student Placements
GP Rural Fellowship, GP Trainee Taster Weeks, GP Training, Student Placements