Archive | Rural-Proofing

New threat to rural practices with boundary changes

Debate has been ongoing since the government indicated plans to change the ways in which patients in England can register with a GP.  Health Minister Andy Burnham has outined plans to allow commuting patients to register with a practice closer to their place of work.

Whilst the idea sounds good for patient choice, the actual effects on patient care are more concerning.  Rural and suburban practices look set to lose out in particular.  We can expect to hear more about this over the next few weeks.

>> Andy Burnham outlining his proposals (BBC News video)

>> Rural GP surgeries face threat from plans to abolish practice boundaries, experts warn (The Telegraph)

>> Boundary plan a threat to rural practice (Dispensing Doctors’ Association)

>> NHS to abolish ‘boundaries’ for GP lists (The Independent)

>> Andy Burnham vows to abolish GP boundaries (The Guardian)

>> Abolition of practice boundaries: burning issue or sound bite policy? (Healthcare Republic)

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Developing a better ambulance service

ambThe Scottish Ambulance Service is consulting health organisations, the public and others, on how to develop its services for the future.  In particular, there is a specific focus on how to improve services in remote and rural areas.

The RCGP Rural Forum is submitting a response, with input from many remote and rural practitioners via the RCGP Remote & Rural Yahoo Group (see the banner on the right for details), including experiences of different types of transport for patient transfer.  However, individual submissions are also welcome.  The “Our Future” section of the SAS website has all the documents, and also web-based feedback forms.

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Feature Link: Rural Services Network

This website offers a clean, well-organised resource for rural issues in England.

“The Rural Services Network is a membership organisation devoted to safeguarding and improving services in rural communities across England.

Already 250 organisations across the complete range of rural services are in membership, including local authorities, public bodies, businesses, charities and voluntary groups across the spectrum of rural service provision.”

We’re pleased that they’re featuring the latest RuralGP post from their front page!

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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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NHS24 in Rural/Remote Areas

You may be aware of an excellent source of R&R research – Rural & Remote Health.   Thanks to Gordon Baird, who flagged up an interesting article into how the out-of-hours telephone service NHS24 (similar to NHS Direct in England & Wales) fares for remote & rural communities.  Direct link to the article (including PDF) here.

I’ve also added a new RSS bar on the left – this now links directly with the current contents of the European issue of R&RH.

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