A spotlight of our work focusing on rural health
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This newsletter is provided by the Rural Health Network, part of the Rural Services Network.

It includes a roundup of rural health news, research, learning and best practice.


News stories that have been featured on our rsnonline.org.uk website include:
New initiative improves mental health services
A new initiative aims to make it easier for service providers to help people with mental health problems overcome their day-to-day challenges.  Mental health charity Mind has launched a "Life Support" briefing highlighting the challenges faced by people with mental health problems – and the support needed to overcome them.

MP's speak up for rural pharmacies
GOVERNMENT proposals must not be allowed to result in the closure of rural pharmacies, MPs have warned.  MPs fear government plans to save £163m in the NHS pharmacy budget could mean pharmacies in smaller towns and villages could be forced to shut up shop.

Rural Dementia is rising
A ground-breaking study is set to assess the rising impact of dementia on rural communities.  Dementia is a growing health problem, with an expected rise in the number of cases of 156% between now and 2051, according to statistics from the Alzheimer's Society.

Patients 'more aware of NHS choice'
Rural residents are more aware of their right to choose where they receive NHS care, suggests a survey. Conducted by NHS England and Monitor, the government says the survey indicates that more needs to be done to promote patient choice across the NHS.
23-27 May is
Workplace Health Week
Workplace Health Week is back for a second year, a week dedicated to raising awareness of the importance for adding activity into and around your working day. Workplace Challenge are urging you to make a deal with yourself and your colleagues to reach the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity during Workplace Health Week.
Visit Workplace Challenge Website for more information.
RSN Annual Rural Conference 2016
This years conference will be held in Cheltenham at the University of Gloucester on 6th and 7th September.
Now open for bookings!
Click to find out more about the conference and book a place
The importance of rural volunteers
From providing services in your local community to doing whatever is required to help out, understanding the social value of volunteering is now finding its way onto the policy agenda. What traditional and newer measurement approaches are emerging and what do they mean for rural communities? Jessica Sellick investigates.

Growing challenge of the rural elderly
One in five elderly people in the UK feels they have no-one to turn to, according to the Campaign to End Loneliness. So what can be done to tackle loneliness in older people in the countryside? Jessica Sellick investigates.

Transport for an ageing rural society
Viable alternative transport options to the car is important for the health and wellbeing of an ageing population, says Brian Wilson.
For each local authority that is a member of the Rural Services Network -Sparse grouping, we provide a dedicated page including lots of facts and figures and analysis focusing on that local area.
The Public Health England Strategic Plan, Better Outcomes by 2020 was launched on 13th April 2016 and sets out how the organisation intends to protect and improve the public’s health and reduce inequalities over the next four years. It also outlines actions PHE will take over the next year to achieve these aims and deliver its core functions.
(Rural Health Conference)

Rural Health Network
The Rural Health Network enables anyone involved in delivering services in rural areas to share ideas, network and share best practice. New members are always welcome and if your organisation would like to find out more, please contact us on 01822 813641 or visit the Rural Health Network section on our website for more information.
Bupa UK Foundation 
Mental health underpins health and wellbeing and impacts everyone which is why the Bupa UK Foundation's most recent funding programme focuses on tackling challenges in mid-life mental health. 
Details of the some of projects Bupa UK Foundation is funding can be found here.
Rural Health in the Press

NHS mental health funding is still lagging behind, says report (9 May 2016) Only 55% of mental health trusts have reported increases to budgets since 2012 when ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health was promised. (The Guardian)

New funding for safe places for people in mental health crisis (8 May 2016) Government opens bidding to fund health based places of safety to stop those in mental health crisis being held in police cells.  (Department of Health)

Watchdog warns NHS against marginalising rural health needs (6 May 2016) North Yorkshire County Council's health watchdog has raised serious concerns about National Health Service planning which threatens to marginalise the health needs of rural communities. (North Yorkshire County Council)

Northumbria Healthcare NHS trust rated 'outstanding(5 May 2016) 
A health trust that last year opened a pioneering emergency-only hospital has been rated "outstanding". (BBC News)

Six things to change in community healthcare for older people (3 May 2016)
In a recent live chat, experts told the Guardian Healthcare Network how support for older people could be improved. (The Guardian)

Budget cuts force Devon to suspend health checks programme (29 April 2016)
Devon County Council has reiterated what cuts in the Government’s public health funding means for the county, which ranks 5th from bottom of all local authorities in terms of public health grant. (Devon County Council)

Campaign to raise awareness of social isolation in Northamptonshire (13 April 2016)
A new campaign to raise awareness of the issue of social isolation in Northamptonshire and the impact this has on people’s health and wellbeing is being launched. (Northamptonshire County Council)

Have your say on health watchdog (12 April 2016)

People in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being asked their opinion on how a watchdog that champions their health rights can best meet their needs.  (Staffordshire County Council)

Patients given greater say in local community healthcare (31 March 2016)
Patients in Sussex are among more than six million people across England to be given a greater say over the way healthcare services are provided in their local communities. (Source: Monitor)

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust secures £2.2m of government funding (28 March 2016)
Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) has been awarded £2.2m from the Department of Health to introduce new standards into healthcare that will improve patient safety as well as finances. (This is the Westcountry)

Scrutiny of Access to Health Services
We will shortly be contacting Local Authorities, inviting them to take part in a scrutiny exercise, looking at Access to Rural Health Services.  If you would like more information please contact kerry.booth@sparse.gov.uk
Forward to a friend interested in Rural Health
The Rural Services Network is an organisation comprising over 100 local authorities and 120 other public service providers seeking to establish links across public service, identifying and broadcasting best practise and making representations on rural service issues.  For details please visit our website www.rsnonline.org.uk

If you would like to find out more about our services or to join, please contact us on 01822 813641 or admin@sparse.gov.uk
Copyright © 2016 Rural Services Network, All rights reserved.

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