The Local Government Association (LGA) has produced a report in partnership with Public Health England, highlighting the specific needs and challenges for health and care provision in rural communities.
The report includes case studies showcasing the ways in which local authorities in England are tackling health inequalities, improving access to services and building up community resilience.
19% of the population of England live in rural areas which make up 85 per cent of the land. These areas are very diverse, ranging from open countryside with a scattering of small towns and villages to coastal communities dependent on fishing or tourism, former mining areas and commuter villages.
The report highlights that the health risks in rural communities relate to the wider social determinants of health as well as to access to health and care services. These include:
- Changing population patterns
- Digital access and exclusion
- Air quality
- Access to health and related services
- Community support, isolation and social exclusion
- Housing and fuel poverty
- Employment and under-employment
The full report can be accessed on the LGA website.