Archive | Rural Deprivation

Dewar Project: next steps endorsed

Sir John Dewar
Author of the 1912 Dewar Report

Alex Neil, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, has indicated support for further work into the challenges of remote and rural practice.

Further information is available from the following news stories:

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Being a new mother in rural England

Another report from the Commission for Rural Communities has been published, this time focussing on the challenges of providing and accessing maternity services in rural areas [link no longer available].

Recent health policy has focussed on patient choice.  However, as the report states: “Delivering these choices in rural areas, presents particular challenges. With less availability and variety of provision in rural localities, choice can often only be exercised by women who are able to draw on their own resources, particularly in relation to capacity to access information and transport. It is therefore unclear whether ‘choice’ in maternity services actually helps to address inequalities but may instead serve to aggravate them.”

RuralGP was alerted to this item via the Institute of Rural Health Newsflash, a regular compilation of rural health items which is sent to IRH Associates.
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Being a young carer in rural England

“In the UK there are 175,000 children under the age of 18 who are informal (unpaid) family carers. There are also 230,000 young adult carers aged 18-24, Rural young carers face particular barriers in accessing and receiving services and support, compounded by distance, lack of adequate public transport, isolation, stigma and lack of privacy”.

This report from the Commission for Rural Communities highlights the challenges and barriers for young carers, that are particular to living in a rural area.

RuralGP was alerted to this item via the Institute of Rural Health Newsflash, a regular compilation of rural health items which is sent to IRH Associates.
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Marmot Review on Health Inequalities in England

The Government is currently consulting on a review of health inequalities in England, and how to reduce them – as part of the “Marmot Review“.  The RCGP Rural Forum recently noted that there is no mention of rural/remote health services in the supporting documents, and how populations in these areas are frequently subject to health inequalities as compared with their urban counterparts.

The Forum is therefore keen for feedback from rural practitioners to help inform a submission to the review team.  If you’d like to get involved with this, or wish to provide information to the Forum, please get in touch – to in the first instance.

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Country Land & Business Association & "Notspots"

You may have recently seen coverage of concerns regarding the lack of broadband availability in rural areas.  Such areas have been labelled “notspots” and increasingly, access to broadband/internet is used as a marker of disadvantaged living circumstances.  Indeed today, it has been reported that broadband is just as essential as other utilities, including water, electricity and gas.

Rural practitioners, in some areas, are leading the way in using technology – particularly the internet – for clinical management of patients and professional development.  There are exciting projects ongoing – you can find them from the links on this blog.  It’s clear that the benefits of being digitally connected can overcome some of the challenges of distance, that come with living and working in remote and rural areas.

As part of this growing awareness, the Country Land and Business Association has recently launched their Staying in Touch campaign, with the aim of improving access to decent (proposed 5MBps) broadband services in rural areas.

The RCGP Rural Forum is also looking at ways to improve access to the internet for its members.  Revalidation and e-learning are just two of many hot topics that will rely heavily on e-communication, and difficulty with access to fast, reliable internet is likely to create difficulties in keeping up-to-date and e-literate.  If you do currently have difficulty with this in your own practice, we’re keen to hear from you now.

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Wales: Views sought on Rural Health Plan

Information below on how to contribute to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the Rural Health Plan:

wag_logo_en> Rural Plan Steering Group

A major new plan to drive forward improvements in healthcare services in rural areas will be published by the Welsh Assembly Government today [Friday, 1 May].  The Rural Health Plan, which is out to consultation, delivers on a commitment in the One Wales document, and aims to address the challenges faced in ensuring people have appropriate healthcare particularly in sparsely populated communities.

The document has been developed by a group under the chairmanship of Lord Elystan Morgan in close consultation with local people, health professionals and other key groups in rural areas. 

The plan includes: Continue Reading →

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