When you think about rural healthcare, you may not think about Scotland, but Scotland has some very rural areas that deal with similar issues we deal with in rural America. Hear about what they are doing in rural Scotland to deliver health and wellbeing to their residents, by listening to our conversation with Dr. Emma Watson, 2021-22 U.K. Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice Deputy Medical Director at NHS Highland.
“NHS Highland delivers integrated health and social care, so it is not just about illness.”
~Dr. Emma Watson
Dr. Emma Watson MSc, FRCPath, FRCPEd is a 2020-21 UK Harkness Fellow in Healthcare Policy and Practice. A Consultant Medical Microbiologist by background and a senior clinical systems leader in Scotland, she is an expert in quality improvement and in medical education and workforce planning.
Emma is Deputy Medical Director in NHS Highland which is, geographically, one of the largest and most sparsely populated combined health and social care systems in the UK. She is also a senior medical adviser in the Scottish Government. In both roles, her focus is on developing innovative approaches to ensuring equitable access to high-quality health care services with a sustainable healthcare workforce, particularly in remote and rural areas.
Emma has led a number of major change programs including the development of Scotland’s first graduate entry medical school. Emma previously held a post in the Scottish Government as Clinical Lead for the Scottish Patient Safety Program during which time she ensured quality improvement methodology translated from the development of health policy and strategy through to implementation across the entirety of the Scottish healthcare system. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement a patient safety program on a whole system basis at the national level. As Director of Medical Education in NHS Highland, she focused on the delivery of high-quality medical education as a tool to increase recruitment and attract young doctors to the region as well as ensuring there is now an established programme to encourage young people from the area to go to medical school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led the clinical response in her region and ensured there was a whole system approach to manage the impact of the virus.