Travelling for health

May 13, 2011, 11:36 PM GMT+0

The majority of people in Scotland would be willing to travel further for specialist healthcare such as complex surgery or cutting edge cancer treatments, our recent survey for the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland shows. The RCN suggests that this indicates that the public is far more willing to consider more radical cost-cutting measures for improving services than those considered by politicians so far.

  • 75% of Scottish people are more likely to support the creation of specialist healthcare centres, such as for complex surgery or cutting edge cancer treatments, if it freed up NHS money to improve local healthcare, even if they may have to travel further
  • 78% are more likely to support the creation of such centres if it improved the quality of highly specialist services when they needed them

Theresa Fyffe, RCN Scotland Director, responded to the results, saying:

‘With growth in costs in the NHS outstripping any anticipated budget increases, difficult decisions will inevitably have to be made… The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind pledges to ‘protect’ NHS funding and make clear how they are going to meet rising demand with less money. If the public can be convinced that the creation of centralised specialist services would improve quality and free up money to be invested in local healthcare, the vast majority would support such a move.

Fyffe continued, ‘Examples of providing services differently are the Golden Jubilee Hospital and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. These specialist centres make a hugely positive difference to care for patients across Scotland.’

See the survey details and full results here