Relative professional roles in antenatal care: results of a survey in Scottish rural general practice Academic Article uri icon


  • There is evidence of variation and some ambiguity about self-perceived relative professional roles in antenatal care in the UK. There is little information about models of antenatal care provision in UK rural areas. In rural areas, in particular, women have limited choice in accessing health care professionals or alternative primary care delivery settings. In the light of a recent review of Scottish maternity services, it is important and timely to examine models of care and interprofessional working in antenatal care in rural areas. This study explores midwives' and GPs' perceptions about their relative professional roles in remote and rural general practice in Scotland. A questionnaire survey involving all 174 Scottish remote and rural general practices (using one definition of rurality) was conducted, followed by 20 interviews. At least one professional returned a completed questionnaire from 91% of rural practices. A number of areas of dissonance were noted between GPs' and midwives' perceptions of their roles in maternity care and, given the context of service provision, these may impact upon rural patients. Findings are relevant to wider debates on extending the primary care team and strengthening inter-disciplinary working, particularly in rural areas.

publication date

  • November 2003