03/12/2019 - Rural Services Partner Group and the RHCA Joint Meeting

Tuesday 3rd December held at 63, Bayswater Road, London.

? To download the agenda and papers associated with this meeting click here
? To download a copy of these minutes click here


- Professor Richard Parish, National Centre for Rural Health and Care
- Ivan Annibal, National Centre for Rural Health and Care
- Andrea Ashman, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
- David Inman, RSN
- Digby Chacksfield, Easton and Otley College
- Dr Deborah Freake, Northumberland Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
- Gavin Jones, Hastoe Housing
- Graham Biggs, RSN
- Hazel Graham, Cumbria Action for Sustainability
- Jan Sobieraj, National Centre for Rural Health and Care
- Dr John Wynn Jones, WONCA
- Jon Turner, RSN
- Kayleigh Wainwright, UK Youth
- Nik Harwood, Young Somerset
- Professor Mark Gussy, University of Lincoln
- Professor Mike Hannay, Medical Technology Innovation Facility
- Patrick Ford, CPRE
- Stephen Gabriel, Wychavon and Malvern Hills DC
- Dr Rashmi Shukla, Public Health England


- Councillor Cecilia Motley, RSN
- Professor Libby John, University of Lincoln
- Tony McArdle, National Centre for Rural Health and Care
- Dr Jessica Sellick, National Centre for Rural Health and Care
- Cllr James Mills, West Oxfordshire DC
- Cllr Judy Pearce, South Hams DC
- Deborah Balfour, West Sussex Council
- Michelle Grady, Lincolnshire CC
- Cllr Rob Waltham MBE, North Lincolnshire Council
- Jenny Poole, Cotswold DC
- Cllr David Finch, Essex CC
- Jane Lang, Tunbridge Wells Council
- John Wyn-Owen, Policy Board in Wales
- Cllr Andrew Leadbetter, Devon CC
- Cllr Mark Whittington, Lincolnshire CC
- Ian Cross, Hampshire Council
- Cllr Sarah Butikofer, North Norfolk DC
- Cllr Sue Cook, South Oxfordshire DC
- Gary Powell, Teignbridge DC
- Cllr Andrew Proctor, Norfolk CC
- Monica Fogarty, Warwickshire CC
- Cllr Cosima Towneley, Lancashire CC
- Cllr John Hart, Devon CC
- Cllr Peter Thornton, South Lakeland DC
- Dr Fiona Marshall, Alzheimer's Society
- James McClean, Health Education England
- Brian Norris, Living Memories
- Kate Robbins, Wessex Water
- Rev'd Claire Maxim, Gerrminate
- Rita Lawson, Tees Valley Rural Action
- Trevor Beattie. South Downs NPA
- Tony Price, Trent & Dove Housing
- John Birtwistle, First Group
- John Longden OBE, Pub is the Hub


Professor Richard Parish welcomed people to the meeting and invited introductory comments.

Graham Biggs updated the group on the response of the RSN to the key items for consideration in the report on health and care considered at its meeting on 2 December namely:

     (a) Are there any significant rural Social Care/Health/Loneliness issues not referred to as yet?

     (b)Do we need to make more of the Public Health issues (funding allocations and generally)?

     (c) How do we link our issues on Social Care and Public Health to the NHS 10 Year Plan?

     (d) Are there specific rural issues relating to Health/Wellbeing for younger rural residents?

     (e) Are there specific rural issues relating to specific medical conditions (e.g. Alzheimer’s and Bipolar) and issues affecting carers which need articulating?

     (f) Which areas of this subject the RSN might prioritise for further action

     (g) What those actions might be ?

     (h) What further “evidence” is available or should be sought to support the case?

     (i) What further “lobbying/representational” work should the RSN be undertaking both inside and outside of Parliament?

It was agreed that these issues, and especially questions c & d as requested by the RSN’s meeting, formed a very useful agenda for collaboration between the NCRHC and RSN.

Presentation on the work of the National Centre for Rural Health and Care

Professor Richard Parish covered the key components of the work of the National Centre and these are summarized below (and available via a printed impact card-­? copies of which were distributed to members).

5 Parliamentary Inquiry Sessions with evidence from:

Action with Communities in Rural England Age UK
British Geriatrics Society British Medical Association
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly STP County Councils Network Defra
Department for Health and Social Care Devon CCG
Devon County Council
Dispensing Doctors Association General Medical Council
Health Education England Healthwatch
Local Government Association
National Housing Federation NHS Confederation
Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust
Nuffield Trust
Public Health England
Quantam Care
Royal College of GPs
Royal College of Nursing
Rural Coalition
Rural Services Network
Shropshire Council Skills for Care
Society of Late Life Advisers
Somerset County Council
University of Birmingham University of Cardiff
University of Central Lancashire
University of Exeter
University of Keele
University of Lincoln Medical School
University of London Birkbeck College
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
World Organisation of Family Doctors
Wye Valley NHS Foundation Trust

87 organisations engaged in a joint membership scheme with the Rural Services Network – the Rural Health and Care Alliance

3 Action Research Projects working with: Dispensing Doctors Association; Lincolnshire COOP/Lincolnshire Lives and Wye Valley NHS Foundation Trust

Innovation Exchange hosted with East Midlands Academic Science Network embracing 300 delegates and three new rural health innovation projects

Original Research into:

  • Rural Funding Formula Commissioned from Nuffield Trust
  • Rural Workforce Challenges Commissioned from University of Birmingham
  • Rural Proofing working with Rural England

 Networking Seminars Organised on:

  • Community Health Hubs
  • Social Prescribing
  • Innovation and Rural Health
  • Delivering Services Differently
  • Rural Health and Care

Evidence Submitted to:

  • House of Lords Select Committee on Rural Economy
  • Department of Health and Social Care Policy School
  • Rural College of GPs Rural Committee Conference
  • NHS Interim People Plan

Research Collaboration Network Established involving:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Bishop Grosseteste University
  • Nuffield Trust
  • Public Health England
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Chester
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Keele
  • University of Lincoln
  • University of Plymouth

 Formal Partnership Arrangements with:

  • Rural Services Network
  • Rural Coalition
  • Rural England

Professor Parish also made the following points:

There was interested from a number of counties in becoming the second National Centre Vanguard and discussions are well advanced with Shropshire – which could involve the piloting of the first specific rural nursing degree.

Jan Sobieraj – thanked Professor Parish for his drive, energy and leadership in movingthe Centre forward. He added a key reflection that the Centre had made a good start which it should build on based on 3 key principles – providing focus to a large agenda, retaining a high ground of high quality outputs, establishing a strong and nationally diverse network of players.

Graham Biggs – added a further reflection on the previously unpromising outcome of the Government’s response to the drive for a national rural strategy. He explained that a plan of campaign to renew the pressure for a strategy was in hand for implementation post election. He also explained that the RSN was working actively with the Institute of Economic Development to apply a rural lens to the emerging Local Industrial Strategies from LEPs.

Kayleigh Wainwright, UK Youth then gave her presentation on their work. The following key themes were covered:

An introduction to the national vision and mission of the organization, which is focused on enabling and connecting rather than direct delivery

An explanation of the geographical of the organization, which covers the whole of the UK and Ireland

Changes to the infrastructure for supporting people in the youth sector – which has seen a significant reduction since 2010 in all areas including rural areas

The outcome of the UK Youth annual review, which shows significant demand for enhanced local services in rural areas

An explanation that there are 1.5 million 10-­?24 year olds in rural settings

Some distinctive features of the experience of young people in rural areas which include: a higher preponderance of “risky behavior”, a lack of infrastructure support, accounting for 16% of all contact with the NHS, significant variations in mental health challenges

Issues identified by young people in rural areas: isolation, lack of a voice, limited employment opportunities, transport challenges and lack of services/support more generally

An enthusiasm within UK Youth at a strategic level to maintain an awareness of the needs of young people in rural areas and an ongoing emphasis that these are best addressed at the local level by distinctive interventions relating to “place”

A link to the presentation is here

Professor Parish thanked Kayleigh for her presentation.

The following comments were made:

Graham Biggs – welcomed the presentation and explained that the recent APPG on rural services had been very impressed by a young person based presentation focused around a group of people sourced through UK Youth.

John Wynn Jones – identified two key challenges around health and care: confidentiality in supporting young people to address their health challenges and the impact challenge to the health of young people have on their parents.

Professor Parish – emphasized that a focus on the mental health of young people was very important.

Kayleigh thanked the group for their engagement and re-­?emphasised that UK Youth would welcome the opportunity to act as a bridge to bring young people’s perspectives to the work of both the RSN and the National Centre for Rural Health and Care.

Professor Parish thanked all participants for their contributions and closed the meeting at 3.40.


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