A spotlight of our work focusing on rural health
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SPOTLIGHT ON RURAL HEALTH

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.

 
PLEASE FORWARD TO COLLEAGUES IF YOU FEEL THEY MAY BE INTERESTED IN RURAL HEALTH ISSUES.

NEWS
News stories that have been featured on our rsnonline.org.uk website include:
 
Rural Pharmacies 'face closure threat'
UP to 1600 rural pharmacies face the threat of closure due to government funding cuts, it is claimed.

Rural Surgery gets super fast broadband
SUPERFAST broadband is set to transform life for doctors, patients and community teams at a remote surgery in North Yorkshire.

Fund to keep rural communities warm
 A £42,000 fund to help vulnerable people warm this winter has been approved in Hampshire.  Tackling winter fuel poverty will be among the areas to benefit from funding for rural communities, said Hampshire County Council.  Council leader Roy Perry approved the funding, which is among £88,000 earmarked from the council's Rural Delivery Strategy for five projects. 

Rural Services 'hub' opens in Somerset.

A market town 'hub' bringing together a number of important public services has opened in Somerset.  The new hub in Glastonbury brings together the library, registration services, children's centre and nursery, health visitors and midwives.  It also includes an access point for Mendip District Council, Citizen's Advice, and Health Connections Mendip.

SAVE THE DATE
28 FEBRUARY 2017
RURAL HEALTH CONFERENCE

More details to follow

 
RSN Annual Rural Conference 2016
This years Rural Conference was held in Cheltenham at the University of Gloucester in September and featured a range of expert speakers and practitioners focusing on Rural issues.  
Click here for more information about the day
RESEARCH AND COMMENT
 
How to make 'rural data' count
Rural-relevant data and statistics are scattered across different websites, in different formats, with different indicators. Data is often collected by (or on behalf of) a given organisation for a specific purpose without thinking about its wider applicability and significance. How can we bring together these scattered pieces of anomalous evidence and use them to make a stronger case for rural? 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.
This topic will clearly be taxing for rural practitioners, given the limited transport options in rural areas and given that rural populations are both older and ageing faster than their urban counterparts.
The King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation are urging the government to address the critical state of social care in its forthcoming Autumn Statement. 

'The briefing calls on the government to recognise the immediate funding pressures facing the sector by bringing forward to next year funding from the Better Care Fund which is planned to reach £1.5 billion in 2019/20. It also makes it clear that the NHS funding settlement will need to be revisited in future financial statements.'

This is particularly relevant for rural communities with a growing elderly population needing support.

MY COUNCIL
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.
(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 851370 or visit the Rural Health Network section on our website for more information.
HEALTH SELECT COMMITTEE

Written submissions on the priorities for health and social care in the negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union are currently being considered by the Health Select Committee.  It's deadline for responses was the 28th October and it will be attempting to identify the priority issues which the Government will need to address in the negotiations, and to hold the Government to account for what it achieves.
Rural Health in the Press

How will the NHS cope this Winter? (8 Nov 16)
The headlines may be dominated by Washington politics and the Brexit debate, but NHS managers are focusing on one issue above others - the winter and what it will mean for already stretched services. (BBC)

NHS bosses 'trying to keep cuts secret' (14 Nov 16)
NHS chiefs are trying to keep plans to cut hospital services in England secret, an investigation has found. Full details of 44 reviews of services around the country - which involve closing some A&Es or, in one case, a whole hospital - are yet to emerge. (BBC)

Bid to transform NHS in Norfolk and Waveney -and save £160m 'in realm of fantasy'
A project to radically alter the NHS in Norfolk and Waveney was today described as being “in the realms of fantasy” by one MP and former health minister.

Worrying gulf in ambulance response times (7 Nov 16)
Patients in rural areas are waiting up to 12 minutes longer for an emergency ambulance than people in towns, new figures reveal today.  Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows the extent to which some patients are facing delays because of where they live. (Eastern Daily Press)

Valuing staff and providing security: social enterprises in social care (24 Oct 16)
From a startup tackling isolation among the rural elderly population in Devon, to a veteran organisation working in a number of northern towns and cities, social enterprises are playing a part in meeting the growing need for social care services across the country. (Guardian)

Farmers encouraged to take part in anxiety research (13 Nov 16)
RURAL WORKERS are being encouraged to take part in a pilot study which aims to create online tools that can help those with low mood and anxiety.  Previous research has indicated that farmers and crofters may be particularly vulnerable to these problems, and may not want, or be able to, access formal health care services to support them. (The Scottish Farmer)

 
Scrutiny of Access to Health Services
We are concluding our research into the Scrutiny of Access to Health Services and will shortly be publishing a report into our findings.  We encouraged Local Authorities to ask a standard set of questions to their CCG to try to gather some comparable responses on accessing health services.

 If you would like more information please contact kerry.booth@sparse.gov.uk
Cumbria Rural Health Rural Wellbeing Conference
 
The RSN attended this event, organised by the Ambleside University of Cumbria Campus on the 1st of November.  The event is gaining national significance as the key event relating to the Well Being agenda in rural areas. In a very full day the event received presentations from a wide range of subject perspectives.
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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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