Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: General Practitioner Involvement in Remote and Rural Maternity Care: Too Big a Challenge?
Authors: Caldow, Jan
Hundley, Vanora
van, Teijlingen Edwin
Reid, John
Kiger, Alice
Tucker, Janet
Ireland, Jillian M
Harris, Fiona Margaret
Farmer, Jane
Bryers, Helen
Contact Email:
Keywords: general practitioners
multidisciplinary education
maternity care
remote and rural setting
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Springer Publishing Company
Citation: Caldow J, Hundley V, van Teijlingen E, Reid J, Kiger A, Tucker J, Ireland JM, Harris FM, Farmer J & Bryers H (2011) General Practitioner Involvement in Remote and Rural Maternity Care: Too Big a Challenge?, International Journal of Childbirth, 1 (1), pp. 27-38.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In the United Kingdom, general practitioner (GP) involvement in maternity care has declined significantly over the past decade. This is particularly so in remote and rural areas where midwives have stepped up and taken over units to ensure that women in these areas continue to have a service. A recent report by the King’s Fund argues for a greater role for the GP in maternity care provision; however, this raises questions about whether GPs have the skills and training to provide such care. AIM: To explore the views of GPs on the skills and training required to deliver safe and appropriate local intrapartum services in remote and rural settings. METHODS: Mixed-method study consisting of qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of GPs in six remote and rural sites. To triangulate the interview findings and identify features that might have been missed in the interviews, a questionnaire was developed using initial key themes identified. FINDINGS: Maternity care accounted for less than 10% of most remote and rural GPs’ workload, yet interviewees reported that their role required them to be competent in a wide range of procedures. This was seen as a major barrier to recruitment and retention in rural areas. Although self-reported competence and confidence was high, several GPs felt de-skilled and felt that they were fighting a losing battle to maintain skills. GPs regarded isolation, need for comprehensive expertise, limited resources, and transportation difficulties as factors affecting the decline in their contribution to remote and rural maternity care. CONCLUSION: Although rural GPs and midwives might traditionally have been in competition, providing a woman-centered service in remote areas may be easier to achieve through collaborative working. However, if GPs are to play a greater role, then they will need to be prepared to make a strategic commitment to the maintenance of remote and rural maternity care. This will require innovative methods of training, special consideration of educational needs, and incentives for practitioners to settle in rural areas, but it may already be too late for GPs to have a substantial input into maternity care.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author; you can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: University of Aberdeen
University of Stirling
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
Robert Gordon University
NMAHP Research
UHI Millennium Institute
NHS Highland

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Caldow et al 2011 .pdf1.5 MBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.